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Newsletter, July 2012 (Issue 188)

The Society's 10 Point Plan


Ten Point Plan for the Northern Fringe as proposed by The Ipswich Society

1. A sense of Community, although we accept that this is very difficult to achieve within a new development, particularly when the houses are predominantly occupied by young families. But by identifying common goals and by providing facilities to meet common needs, the beginnings of a unified community can emerge.

2. A sense of Place, and ideally the space must have a (village) centre. In this respect Martlesham Heath has a centre but Ravenswood doesn't (or at least it doesn't have a single simple centre). Master-planning should include provision for a local centre (shops), primary school, doctors' surgery, public house and village green (park). Later development could include a community centre and recreational facilities.

3. A sense of Purpose; the Northern Fringe needs to be much more than just a housing estate, more than just another suburb of Ipswich, and certainly more than row upon row of tacky little boxes. Purpose is created by employment, well being, recreation and leisure facilities, and ease of communication.

4. A sense of Security, which Ravenswood has achieved - partly by layout, partly by design and to some extent by the singular vehicle access. There is much to commend in the Suffolk Police' Security by Design' standards but equally some points are inhibiting to good neighbourliness (e.g. security fencing). One key factor within the Design Guide is natural surveillance, whereby there are no dark alleys or blind corners on walking and cycle routes.

5. A policy of Pedestrians First in the design of road layouts, crossing points and sight lines. Footpaths should be convenient, continuous and conspicuous. Pedestrians will take the direct line across the grass, planted areas and will break down simple barriers to achieve a straight line to their destination. Such routes should be pre-determined and surfaced to meet requirements. Footpaths can have joint use as cycle tracks which offer the advantage of increased width; ideal for prams, trundle toys and families walking together. The cycleway should not be constantly interrupted with' cyclist dismount' signs as they are at Ravenswood.

6. The development needs to meet the highest standards of sustainability, in particular making extensive use of local materials that have required the minimum energy in manufacture and delivery. Wherever possible, materials from renewable sources should be specified and there should be avoidance of those made from hydrocarbons. It should also be borne in mind that sustainability can be achieved by orientation, that is turning the property to face the sun rather than the road.

7. The Northern Fringe is a 21st century development and the styles of architecture should reflect this. The variety of housing types constructed should reflect the requirements of modem living and although we accept family homes with gardens are a prime requirement in Ipswich there should also be units to meet a wide and diverse range of living styles. Consideration should be given as to how planning conditions can be applied and enforced, in particular individual satellite dishes and the restrictions on the parking of second and third vehicles, particularly the overnight parking of vans.

8. The Ipswich Society can offer no suggestion as to how the inevitable increase in traffic could be accommodated on to the current road layout but suggest that there should be an independent study of the existing congestion problems across northern Ipswich together with suggestions for possible solutions once the additional Northern Fringe traffic is added to the mix. We suggest that there are no through routes for vehicles (other than public transport) across the development, so a northern by-pass is not created by default.

9. Open Spaces. Careful account should be taken of existing trees, hedgerows and bio-diverse spaces which should be preserved and enhanced, and the Master Plan should include a country park (as recommended in the Core Strategy).

10. Public Art. It goes without saying that multiple works of public art should be included across the Northern Fringe, as at Ravenswood.

    Front cover of issue 188 Cover, issue 188

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