Ipswich School's applications for a new sports facility on Tuddenham
Road and a development on Valley Road
Ipswich School has made two large separate but financially
inter-dependent applications. John Norman and I have met with the School
development team over two long meetings. They have been unfailingly
helpful in providing information.
At the outer end of Tuddenham Road beyond the Millennium Cemetery the
School has applied to develop over 50 acres of farming land they own
into a sports complex which would have many pitches for all sports,
notably two hockey pitches on a thin layer of water; there would also be
a two storey pavilion, a very large sports hall and a reservoir to store
water. These large facilities are required because the school is
increasing in numbers, particularly girls. It would be available for use
to other schools, other educational establishments and other
organisations. Though we are unhappy about moving the locus of sports
activities further from the centre we accept that development here is
inevitable and will make Tuddenham Road a sports centre of Ipswich. The
facilities will be superb, certainly regional and in the case of hockey
national in standard. It would be a real asset for the whole of Ipswich.
We have two worries that need to be addressed: firstly the upward light
emitted needs to be strictly designed, controlled and monitored so that
there is minimal spill upwards and outwards to the countryside to the
north. Secondly, transport arrangements need to be looked at more
closely. Most will be by road transport because schools can comply with
risk assessments most easily and cheaply by using buses. However walking
and cycling need to be encouraged and therefore safe. It is essential
that a pedestrian and cycle way is constructed from the existing one at
Colchester Road, crossing the railway in a safe way and continuing on
land "borrowed" from the cemetery and entering the site before the Pets'
The second application concerns the School's Notcutt playing fields to
the north of Valley Road between Henley and Westerfield Roads. The
School has made an outline application to build 220 houses, a care home
and a community building. Access to the care home would be from Vere
Gardens and to the remainder from Valley Road by demolishing number 161.
The Society is objecting strongly on the following grounds :-
- As yet there is no need for Greenfield developments, though strictly
speaking this is Brownfield as it is already developed for sports use.
- In ten years time there will be a need to develop north of Valley
Road. It should then be done with a master plan which would allow in due
course 1500 - 2000 houses with transport systems, educational, medical,
sports, and shopping facilities. A development of this size would
support this infrastructure. What must not happen is relatively small
developments such as this with no master plan drawn up by competent
urban planners and architects. Already Mersea Homes has joined the
bandwagon with an application for 1100 homes on an adjacent site. (They
do plan a bus service)
- There is no real effort to provide for sustainable transport such as
walking and cycling. Any development north of Valley Road will have to
provide a cycle and pedestrian way which is relatively road traffic free
and safe at all times.
- It cannot be right to demolish a very serviceable early twentieth
century detached five bedroom dwelling to provide access when there is a
vacant plot next door.
- The access to the care home via Vere Gardens is undesirable as is any
new access on to Valley Road.
- 596 letters of representation have been registered. Some may be the
same but none that I have read are anything but local residents'