It’s been decades in the planning and debating, but the first homes on the Ipswich Garden Suburb on the northern fringe of the town could start to take shape early next year.
Housebuilders Crest Nicholson have started building an access road on to Henley Gate – one of three neighbourhoods of the IGS – off Henley Road and is working with local builders SEH on the first infrastructure of the development.
Eventually the whole IGS development will have up to 3,500 homes with 1,100 in Henley Gate.
Crest Nicholson was given planning permission to build the first 130 homes there after a meeting of the borough’s planning and development committee in June – but only after their scheme was described as “like coming out of a catalogue” by councillors.
The work currently under way is expected to take 14 weeks – and will include a two-week road closure to allow the new road to be connected to the existing network.
Planning permission for the homes was finally signed off in September after negotiations with council officials following the June meeting.
The Henley Gate neighbourhood will also include the creation of a new country park to form a buffer between the edge of Ipswich and the neighbouring village of Westerfield.
Planning permission for that was signed off at the same time as that for the first 130 homes on the development.
Plans for the new communities across the top of Ipswich, which will include three primary schools, a high school, new neighbourhood shopping centres, community facilities and commercial buildings, were first proposed in the 1980s and have taken nearly 40 years of debate before any work started on the ground.
Outline permission has already been granted for the whole of Henley Gate and the Fonnereau neighbourhood that will be developed to the south of the railway line by Mersea Homes with 815 homes.
The Redhouse neighbourhood, between Westerfield and Tuddenham Roads, will come later. The whole suburb is not expected to be completed until well into the 2030s.
Crest Nicholson is expected to unveil more plans of the first homes on the Ipswich Garden Suburb over the next week.