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Introduction Maps Written Statement Planning Policy Index Copyright

INTRODUCTION

13.1 Ipswich is the largest Town in Suffolk and the hub of an extensive sub-region. It functions as a regional centre in employment, commercial, recreational and cultural terms.

13.2 Parts of the built-up area of Ipswich extend into the Suffolk Coastal District and there are substantial housing areas under construction on this urban fringe, such as Grange Farm, Kesgrave and Warren Heath, Purdis Farm. At Martlesham a "new village" has developed adjacent to an industrial area. BT Laboratories (BTL) is now established alongside the industrial estate.

13.3 Within the area are a number of settlements like Martlesham, Nacton and Rushmere St Andrew, which still retain their separate identity despite the close proximity of the urban area.

13.4 The estuary of the River Orwell is designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and an important area for wildlife. There are also other attractive parts, such as the Fynn and Mill River valleys. The Countryside generally is under pressure for development and change, and there may be opportunities for recreational activities.

HOUSING

HOUSING REQUIREMENTS

13.5 The Ipswich Eastern Fringe comprises nine parishes to the east of Ipswich and is part of the Ipswich Policy Area, as defined in the County Structure Plan. Historically, the area has provided the majority of Ipswich's growth and as there are large commitments being developed, will continue to do so in the Plan period.

13.6 The Structure Plan (Incorporating Alterations 1, 2 and 3) sets out housing requirements for the Ipswich Policy Area as a whole, and then provides a breakdown of this requirement to indicate how much of it will be required in each of the four District Council areas which, together, make up the Policy Area.

13.7 The actual requirement, and how it is to be achieved in this District Council's part of the Policy Area, is shown in Table 4. In respect of the outstanding planning consents it has been assumed that all of them, including those on large housing estates like Grange Farm, Kesgrave, will be completed by 2006. On the three major housing estates currently under construction, 1600 dwellings remain to be built out of 3,000 at Grange Farm, 640 out of 1200 at Bixley Farm and 190 out of 670 at Warren Heath.

13.8 In addition to these existing planning consents, an allowance must be made for 'windfall' sites. These are sites which cannot be specifically identified and which will arise as a result of the infilling of vacant plots, changes of use, redevelopment or the development of other vacant areas of land. The assessment of these is based upon an analysis of completions over recent years. Over the six years mid-1990 - mid 1996, completions on windfall sites have been at an annual average of 27.4. It could assumed that the past rate of development may continue, but the District Council recognises that the availability of sites may well reduce in number. A conservative estimate of the future rate of provision is, therefore, being taken of 75% of the past rate, ie, an average of 21 units per year, or 210 over the ten year period.

13.9 Taken together, these various sources of new housing will provide for an estimated 5685 new housing units over the ten year Plan period, some 215 units more than the current Structure Plan requirement. These figures are:

TABLE 4
IPSWICH POLICY AREA (Suffolk Coastal District part)

a)

Housing Stock requirement 2006

11,810

b)

Housing Stock 1988

6,340

c)

Completions 1988 - 1996

2,430

d)

Outstanding consents mid 1996

3,045

e)

Estimated windfall completions

210

(21 pa equals 75% of past rate)

g)

Housing Stock provision 2006

12,025

(b + c + d + e)

HOUSING ALLOCATIONS

13.10 The conclusion to be drawn from Table 4 is that there is clearly no need to make specific allocations of land for residential development to meet the housing requirements in the Suffolk Coastal part of the Ipswich Policy Area up to 2006

NEW DEVELOPMENT : SCALE AND LOCATION

Town

13.11 The District Council considers that the substantially developed or committed residential areas of Purdis Farm and Rushmere/Kesgrave should be defined as 'Town' areas, as indicated in the Structure Plan. This definition, together with their physical limits boundaries, which are shown on the Proposals Map, is only for the purposes of the Structure Plan Settlement Policy and does not indicate any attempt or intention to alter the existing administrative boundaries. The principal purpose of defining them in this way is to draw a clear distinction on the Proposals Map between those large areas which may be regarded as predominantly built-up, and:

(i) the open land beyond to which the Countryside and other policies of the Structure Plan will apply, including those which seek to maintain the open character of the land which separates Kesgrave from Martlesham and Martlesham from Woodbridge; or

(ii) the settlements, such as Martlesham Heath, which are more appropriately defined as 'Village'.

13.12 Within this area, Policy AP26 will apply, as well as other District-wide policies, such as AP28, which deals with areas to be protected from development within the physical limits boundary.

Purdis Farm Lane

13.13 The 'Town' area includes the likes of Bucklesham Road and Purdis Farm Lane. These are low density areas categorised by extensive domestic gardens with mature trees. In order to achieve a high standard of design, and layout as well as satisfactory access arrangements, it is essential that any development be to a low density and on a comprehensive, rather than piecemeal, basis. While proposals will be considered on their individual merits, there will be fundamental principles to be followed, along with Policies AP17 (Trees, Hedgerows and Woodlands), AP19 (Design), AP26 development in Towns), AP39 (Residential Amenity), and AP41 (Housing Density).

Villages

13.14 On the basis of the criteria set out in para 3.19 in Chapter Three, a number of settlements have been identified as Villages , to which Policy AP27 will apply. In accordance with the strategic policy, and to reflect their individual scale and character, development in excess of a group is not considered appropriate. The only exception to this is in relation to Martlesham, where specific provision has been made on the Proposals Map.

13.15 Physical limits boundaries for these six Villages are shown on the Proposals Map. In addition to AP27 applications for development within these Villages will be assessed against the following policy:

POLICY AP211

Ipswich Fringe: Development in the Villages

In order to implement Policy AP27 the following settlements are defined as Villages. Other than where specific provision has been made in this Local Plan, the appropriate scale of development will be infilling or a group of dwellings well related to its surroundings:

Little Bealings

Martlesham

Martlesham Heath

Nacton

Playford

Rushmere Street .

'Infill' and 'Group' are defined in para 3.5. Specific provision for development in excess of a group has only been made in Martlesham Heath and Martlesham Village, as shown on the Proposals Map.

13.16 In defining the physical limits boundaries, the District Council supports the objective of Structure Plan Policy IP5 to retain the separate identity of the various Villages and settlements around the edge of Ipswich and prevent their coalescence with Ipswich, with each other or with Woodbridge. The District Council considers this to be a particularly important objective and will, therefore, also assess any applications for development against the following policy:

POLICY AP212

Ipswich Fringe: Open character of land between Settlements

The District Council will seek to maintain the open character of the land which separates Villages on the Ipswich Eastern Fringe from each other and from Ipswich and Woodbridge, including Rushmere Street from Rushmere; Martlesham Heath from Martlesham; and Martlesham from Woodbridge.

In respect of open land near Rushmere Street, see paras 13.109 and 13.110.

13.17 The inclusion of an area within a physical limits boundary does not mean that it will always be appropriate for development. Such an area may make an important contribution to the setting or character of a Village, or the surrounding Countryside, in an undeveloped form. Where such sites have been identified, and there may be others, they are shown on the Proposals Map. Development will not normally be permitted in these areas, and Policy AP28 will apply.

13.18 One such area is to the north-east of the Church in Little Bealings, as shown on the Proposals Map. The character of Martlesham Heath is also characterised by areas of open space and these are considered later in para 13.27.

Countryside

13.19 Outside of the physical limits of the Town and Villages, as defined on the Proposals Map, the area is defined as Countryside to which Policy AP8 will apply. This includes a number of areas for which specific policies will apply. These include Martlesham (Railway Bridge) (paras 13.21 to 13.22), Foxhall Road and Stadium (paras 13.94 to 13.102), Suffolk Showground (paras 13.103 to 13.105) and Rushmere Street open areas (paras 13.106 to 13.108).

13.20 Within the area defined as Countryside, there are also a number of hamlets, clusters or groups of housing which are of insufficient size, or possess an insufficient range of facilities to be accorded Village status. Within the parish of Brightwell, for instance, there is no settlement which meets the criteria set out in para 3.19. Proposals for development in these hamlets, clusters and small groups will be assessed against Policy AP30.

Martlesham (Railway Bridge)

13.21 This area is within the defined Countryside. It contains a wide variety of land uses, including established industry, intensive agriculture and horticulture, recreation, housing and open heathland. The completion of the Martlesham bypass has resulted in improved access into Woodbridge and a reduction in the volume of traffic using the former A12 through Martlesham. This is likely to result in continued pressure for some form of development within this part of Martlesham. Some of this area is within the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a Special Landscape Area.

13.22 The section south of Sandy Lane contains intensive agricultural industry, occupying a significant number of large buildings in sensitive locations both within and adjacent to the AONB. These buildings are considered to be sufficiently important to justify the inclusion of the following policy to lay down development guidelines for their re-use, should that circumstance ever arise. This policy is an amplification of Policy AP73 for the industrial use of redundant buildings.

POLICY AP213

Sandy Lane, Martlesham

Proposals for the employment re-use of the site and buildings in Sandy Lane, Martlesham, as shown on the Proposals Map, will be considered against the following criteria:

i) Proposals will only be considered in the context of a comprehensive scheme for the whole complex, the basic elements of which shall be:

a) buildings should be confined to the western part of the site, as identified on the Proposals Map with the remainder being removed and the land restored;

b) only the buildings which are of permanent and substantial construction but of a scale and character which are in keeping with the exposed location in the AONB will be permitted to remain;

c) the scale of the final complex should reflect the location in the AONB;

d) the design of new buildings, conversions and external works (including re-cladding) shall be of a high standard and should not detract from the character of the AONB;

e) access will be at the western end and all other accesses (other than where serving residential properties) shall be removed in order to retain and enhance the present rural character of Sandy Lane;

f) a comprehensive landscaping scheme;

g) proposals for the phased demolition and restoration of the eastern part of the site.

ii) Proposals must not lead to unacceptable levels of traffic movements, particularly by lorries;

iii) Only B1 uses will be permitted, unless otherwise agreed in writing with the District Council. Warehouse and haulage uses will not be permitted;

iv) A range of size of buildings should be provided in order to provide premises for small businesses preferably providing jobs and/or services for the local community;

v) The subsequent expansion of the activities on the site will only be permitted if it can be demonstrated that there would be no adverse impact on the surroundings and, under certain circumstances, the District Council will consider seeking the removal of rights under the General Development Order.

13.23 The open land between the A12 and Sandy Lane is currently used for horticulture and agriculture, with two small groups of dwellings north of the railway bridge and at The Street, close to its junction with Sandy Lane. The land clearly forms part of the valley of the River Fynn, which is itself an extension to the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The valley to the west has been designated as a Special Landscape Area and, if it were not for the presence of such intrusive features as sodium lighting columns and untidy horticultural and agricultural buildings, this particular area would be of a similar quality and designated as part of the Special Landscape Area. Nevertheless, it is important in visual terms, particularly in views from the adjacent AONB, and creates a significant open space barrier between Woodbridge and Martlesham. With some enhancement it could reach the same standard as the remainder of the Fynn Valley. Such enhancement could include general tree and hedge planting, the removal of lighting columns and the remains of the old A12, and the screening of eyesores.

13.24 More development would not be appropriate as it would spoil the landscape further, be contrary to the general policy seeking to protect the Countryside (AP 8), and the policy which seeks to prevent the coalescence of Woodbridge and Martlesham (AP212).

POLICY AP214

Ipswich Fringe: Ipswich Road/Sandy Lane, Martlesham

The land lying between Sandy Lane and the A12, as shown on the Proposals Map, is considered to be a prominent and essential component of the Fynn Valley, lying between the Special Landscape Area to the west and the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The District Council will encourage enhancement measures which improve the landscape of this area to the same quality as that to the west.

13.25 The Dukes Hill area forms a logical part of the adjoining Woodbridge physical limits boundary and is, therefore, included within it. It should be emphasised that this does not propose or imply any change in the existing Martlesham Parish boundary, since physical limits boundaries merely indicate areas within which specific planning policies apply. Applications for development will be assessed against Policy AP28 for reasons outlined in the Woodbridge Area Chapter (para 14.65).

13.26 The area between the A12 and Ipswich Road was formerly used as a tree nursery. The southern part has now been developed as a football ground and the northern part of the site, fronting Seckford Hall Road, has a valid planning consent for residential development. The latter area is included within the adjoining Woodbridge physical limits boundary, as shown on the Proposals Map.

MARTLESHAM HEATH

13.27 Martlesham Heath has been progressively developed as a "new village" on part of the former Martlesham airfield in accordance with a Master Plan, and completion is close at hand. Basically, the overall physical and design principle which emanates from the original social concept is one of a series of hamlets separated from each other by wide areas of open space. The District Council has sought, and will continue to uphold the principles of this concept, and, accordingly, once these hamlets have been fully developed there will be no potential for further development other than ancillary to recreation of an outdoor nature. To do otherwise would be regarded as adversely affecting the village and its open setting.

13.28 Consequently, the open areas, including an area designated as part of the Ipswich Heaths SSSI, have been defined as Areas to be Protected from Development and these are shown on the Proposals Map.

13.29 As stated earlier, the protection of the areas of open space around the residential hamlets and the village centre is essential if the original principles of the village concept of Martlesham Heath are to be retained. This equally applies to the open and wooded areas which surround the village, including the land to the north and north-west of the Police Headquarters. With the development of Grange Farm west of Dobbs Lane, there will be increasing pressure on the open land lying either side of this road, which will emphasise the need for effective management and control.

13.30 The area of woodland lying to the west of Dobbs Lane contains two groups of Bronze Age or Anglo-Saxon burial mounds, as well as several other flattened burial mounds. The retention of this area of woodland as an area of informal public open space, linked to the suggested landscaping scheme to be provided on the southern edge of the Grange Farm development, will assist in the preservation of these Ancient Monuments. Although identified as part of the Area to be Protected from Development, this area will also be protected from any form of development, by the application of Policy AP7.

13.31 The Martlesham Heath Industrial Estate is considered later in para 13.42.

EMPLOYMENT

13.32 As a regional employment centre, Ipswich serves a wide catchment area which would include, for example, the historic town of Woodbridge.

13.33 Consequently, it is difficult to identify a specific land requirement for the Ipswich Eastern Fringe, since it forms only a part of a wider region. This requirement is made even more difficult, since there is a direct correlation between the supply of, and demand for, employment land within the adjoining towns of Felixstowe and Woodbridge within the wider Ipswich Sub-Region.

13.34 This inter-relationship between Ipswich, the Eastern Fringe and the nearby Towns was emphasised in an Industrial Land and Property Market Study which was commissioned by the County Council and published in June, 1990. This Study concluded that the amount of identified land, including that with consent or allocation in Local Plans, for industrial development within the wider Ipswich area is sufficient to meet demand over the next ten years.

13.35 The Study pointed out, however, that whilst there is adequate land identified for development, it is frequently not readily available. In particular, it identified lack of infrastructure and the disposal policies of landowners as being the key constraints on land availability.

13.36 The main sources of this industrial land on the Ipswich Eastern Fringe are the estates at Nacton Heath (Ransomes) and Martlesham Heath. These are outlined below and the overall conclusion is that the constraints on development may not be as relevant now as when the Study referred to earlier was drafted.

NACTON HEATH (RANSOMES EUROPARK)

13.37 The existing Ransomes Industrial Park is approximately 1½ miles south-east of Ipswich town centre and fronts the A14, from which access is obtained via the A14 Nacton interchange. The estate, which is wholly within the Ipswich Borough, is being developed progressively eastwards, and it is currently estimated that there are 150 acres still available for development. The surface water constraint on about 75 acres of this area is currently being addressed by the landowners and should be overcome in the near future. The land is also being actively marketed.

13.38 The potential exists to extend this area into this District, to absorb a further 41 acres lying between the Borough boundary and the designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty boundary.

13.39 The District Council has acknowledged the acceptability in principle of this area being used as an extension to the Ransomes Industrial Park for a number of years. It is now estimated that the land will be required to help meet the needs of the Ipswich area towards the end of the Plan period. The site is, therefore, now allocated as a General Employment Area in order to encourage it to be comprehensively planned with the adjacent Ransomes Park, and the following policy will apply.

POLICY AP215

Ipswich Fringe: Nacton Heath

Land at Nacton Heath, between the A14, the railway line and the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, as shown on the Proposals Map, is allocated as a General Employment Area, as an extension to, and accessed from, the adjacent Ransomes Park. Before development commences, a major landscaping scheme will be required, to strengthen the eastern boundary to form a firm limit to the employment area.

The policy on General Employment Areas is set out in AP51.

13.40 At present there does not appear to be any satisfactory means of access to this land. Access is not acceptable from the Felixstowe Road in the north, due to the need to cross the railway line, neither is it acceptable from the A14 Ipswich bypass to the south. The garage/petrol filling station complex fronting the A14 was granted consent on the basis that it was a facility linked to the use of the of the main road itself. Thus, the only effective means of access to the land is as an extension of the estate roads on the Ransomes' land, and the willingness of the respective landowners to negotiate a satisfactory access route at the appropriate time, will be critical in enabling the land to be brought forward for development. It is likely that foul and surface water drainage will also need to be provided as extensions to the systems within the adjoining industrial estate, and it will be necessary to demonstrate that satisfactory drainage of any development can be provided.

13.41 It should be emphasised that the District Council will continue to resist proposals for development of the remaining land between the proposed employment area, the railway line and the A14, which is within the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

MARTLESHAM HEATH

13.42 The Martlesham Heath industrial estate is located to the east of Ipswich, some 3 miles from the town centre. Access is off the A12, which forms the western boundary of the estate. The industrial estate is approximately 80 acres in extent of which about 10 acres are currently (mid-1999) undeveloped. The Martlesham Heath industrial estate, including the adjoining British Telecommunications PLC complex, as shown on the Proposals Map, is confirmed as a General Employment Area, within which B1, B2 and B8 categories of development are acceptable. It is recognised that a number of indoor recreational facilities have become established within the industrial estate. The following policy will apply:

POLICY AP216

Ipswich Fringe: Martlesham Heath Industrial Estate

The existing industrial area of approximately 80 acres at Martlesham Heath, together with the adjoining British Telecommunications PLC complex, as shown on the Proposals Map, is identified as a General Employment Area to which Policy AP51 applies.

BRITISH TELECOMMUNICATIONS PLC

13.43 BT Laboratories (BTL) is one of the country's largest telecommunications research facilities and one of the County's major employers. It occupies about 105 acres adjacent to the Martlesham Heath industrial estate. The District Council recognises that a further 246 acres to the east and south of the main complex is utilised as a field experimental test range and that any proposals to extend or intensify such facilities will need to be considered on their merits, taking account of:

(i) the proven need for such development;

(ii) the lack of practical alternative locations; and

(iii) impact on the countryside.

13.44 Concern has been expressed by BTL at the prospect of development which might have an adverse effect on these field test facilities. Such development prospects are likely to be extremely restricted, however, bearing in mind the fact that the areas of concern are identified as Countryside, to which Policy AP8 will apply. On the other hand, it is accepted that the work of BTL may encompass areas of research which it may be possible to place in the category of "proven national interest" and that alternative sites unfettered by the adverse impact of new development may not be available. Even in the absence of proven national need, which is likely to be difficult to establish, any planning application for development within the Safeguarding Area will need to take into account the effect of that development on the testing facilities. Where it can be shown that the proposed development would be seriously detrimental to existing and likely future testing facilities, planning permission will be refused.

POLICY AP217

Ipswich Fringe: BT Laboratories, Martlesham

The use of land to the south and east of the BT Laboratories at Martlesham Heath, as shown on the Proposals Map, for Field Experimental Test Facilities associated with the adjacent laboratories is recognised. Although the normal countryside policies will apply, proposals relating to the testing of equipment only may be acceptable if:

(i) there is no practical alternative location; and

(ii) the design, size and impact on the countryside are acceptable.

In respect of such proposals, the granting of temporary planning consent may be appropriate.

In determining applications for planning permission in the adjoining safeguarding area, also as shown on the Proposals Map, a material planning consideration will be the effect of the proposal on field experimental test facilities, as will be the practicality of re-siting existing ones. Where it can be shown that the development proposed would be seriously detrimental to existing and likely future testing facilities, planning permission will be refused.

GRANGE FARM, KESGRAVE

13.45 The outline planning consent and associated Section 106 Agreement for Grange Farm, Kesgrave, requires an area of not less than 20 acres and not more than 30 acres to be provided for industrial development. The consent contains a specific condition which restricts uses of this employment area solely to those within Class B1, unless specifically agreed in writing with the District Council. This restriction is in order that the Council may retain control over the development and to ensure that industrial activity will be of such a kind that it will not have any adverse effect on nearby residential areas.

13.46 Even though the consent requires the provision of this land for employment purposes, the District Council considers that it is appropriate to formally allocate the area. This area is not, as yet, clearly defined on the ground but is indicated in general terms on the approved Grange Farm Master Plan. It has been indicated on the Proposals Map, but it is accepted that the precise boundaries may need to be clarified as the Grange Farm development proceeds. Perimeter landscaping will need to be provided within the allocated area as indicated on the Grange Farm Master Plan. The following policy will, therefore, apply:

POLICY AP218

Ipswich Fringe: Employment land at Grange Farm, Kesgrave

An area of approximately 28 acres at Grange Farm, Kesgrave, as shown on the Proposals Map, is allocated as an Employment Area. The use of this area will be restricted to those uses considered acceptable within Category B1 of the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order, 1987 unless otherwise agreed in writing with the District Council. Perimeter planting will be carried out within this area on the northern and southern boundaries.

13.47 The allocated area incorporates an existing area of commercial development currently accessed from Dobbs Lane. The District Council hopes that it will eventually be possible to integrate this existing development with the new development in such a way as to enable it to be accessed from the new spine road and A1214 roundabout junction, rather than Dobbs Lane. In any event, no additional access from Dobbs Lane to commercial, residential or any other type of development will be permitted.

POLICY AP219

Ipswich Fringe: Kesgrave and Grange Farm

The District Council acknowledge that Kesgrave, owing to its location and proposed eventual level of population, has distinct characteristics. In particular, its Grange Farm development will be promoted as a community with a commensurate range of services, facilities and employment opportunities, including those within Classes A1, A2 and A3 of the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order, 1987.

THE NEED FOR ADDITIONAL EMPLOYMENT LAND

13.48 The District Council concludes that there is sufficient land available on the Ipswich Eastern Fringe to meet estimated requirements, and that any constraints on such land are likely to be overcome.

WAREHOUSING

13.49 With the increase in traffic through the Haven Ports, there are increasing pressures for associated land use activities. These include warehousing/storage facilities for subsequent distribution regionally, nationally and abroad, road haulage depots and container compounds. These uses should be located on established industrial areas close to the primary road network, so as to minimise the environmental problems caused by heavy goods vehicles using unsuitable roads, and to maximise the use of the investment that has been made to improve Suffolk's road network. In this respect an area has been identified in Felixstowe at Clickett Hill (para 11.84).

13.50 When considered in the context of the Ipswich Eastern Fringe Plan area, the only industrial areas on which these warehousing uses would be acceptable are Martlesham Heath and Nacton Heath. They will certainly not be acceptable on the Grange Farm allocation nor anywhere else, particularly in the Countryside, and Policy AP54 will apply. The adequate provision of off-road facilities, including parking for lorries in accordance with the Council's normal standards, will be an important issue to take into account when considering planning applications for warehousing/haulage depots.

POLICY AP220

Ipswich Fringe: Warehousing/Haulage Depots on the Ipswich Fringe

Permissions for warehouses and haulage depots, except where required for local distribution purposes, and permissions for container compounds and handling areas, will be restricted to the Martlesham Heath and Nacton Heath General Employment Areas, as identified on the Proposals Map. The locations and use of screening where appropriate, must respect the need to protect the landscape and residential amenity.

Proposals elsewhere will be considered against Policy AP54.

RETAILING

13.51 The majority of the Ipswich Eastern Fringe Plan Area falls within the Ipswich shopping catchment area, though parts of Martlesham are sufficiently close to Woodbridge to fall within the Woodbridge catchment area. These two towns provide for all the main shopping needs of the area, with the more local day-to-day needs being met by small groups of shops or individual shops.

LOCAL RETAIL FACILITIES

13.52 The District Council considers that the establishment of additional shopping units would be acceptable within existing settlement areas provided they formed part of existing groups of shops, or were new small shops in Villages designed to meet local need. District Centres within the Grange Farm and Bixley Farm development areas have already been approved as part of the respective Master Plans. The former is also covered by Policy AP221.

LARGE FOOD STORES

13.53 Apart from the urban influences of Felixstowe and the Ipswich Fringe, the District is predominantly rural and characterised by small towns and villages. Communications and consequent drive times to major retail outlets are dominated by the A12 and the A14. Some 60% of the District's population is concentrated in 30% of its area located south of a line through Melton. Most growth provided for in the Local Plan is to be similarly concentrated in the south and, in particular, at Grange Farm, Kesgrave. The District's population will continue to have a higher than average car ownership rate.

13.54 These and related factors have increased reliance on free-standing superstores and, in particular, the only store in that category in the District is at Warren Heath. Many residents of the District travel outside the District to do bulk shopping elsewhere around the Ipswich Fringe.

13.55 The inadequacy of current provision to the north-east of Ipswich, and the requirement for improved retail facilities associated with population growth in Grange Farm, led to approval of a 50,000 sq ft gross food store, together with unit shops and other District Centre community facilities in that location.

13.56 However, the turnover on convenience goods is anticipated to rise significantly in the District. Up to 80% of this turnover might be expected to be spent in large food stores.

13.57 Predictions indicate a shortfall in provision by 2001 and the store approved at Kesgrave is insufficient to meet the District's future demands for such facilities. Furthermore, it is evident that the bulk of any provisions to meet the shortfall should be located in the south of the District.

13.58 Potential exists at the Martlesham Heath General Employment Area for a large food store. The site lies adjacent to the A12 and is, therefore, accessible to many parts of the District and the population on the eastern fringe. The impact on Woodbridge town centre is not likely to be sufficient to threaten its vitality and viability, particularly if the quality of provision in Woodbridge town centre could be enhanced.

13.59 The successful development of the major residential neighbourhood, involving some 3,000 dwellings, for which consent has been granted at Grange Farm, Kesgrave, is dependent on the early provision of a comprehensive District Centre. Consent was granted to Tesco for a major food store on the District Centre site in the knowledge that it will act as the principal means of providing a range of local shopping requirements. The Council's support for a store at Martlesham turns, therefore, on the ability to secure a District Centre at Grange Farm, Kesgrave if the store were not built there. The absence of a reasonably-sized supermarket could seriously prejudice the prospects of securing a successful centre to serve the new housing area.

13.60 The supermarket that is to form part of the District Centre at Grange Farm should be designed and located so as to be capable of forming part of a comprehensive development. Speculative housing is to be resisted.

POLICY AP221

Ipswich Fringe: Food Retailing at Martlesham Heath and Grange Farm

Provided that the Council is satisfied that the outstanding planning consent for a supermarket of 50,000 sq ft gross floor area at Grange Farm, Kesgrave will not be implemented, part of the Martlesham Heath General Employment Area, as shown on the Proposals Map, is considered suitable for the development of a food store of up to approximately 45,000 sq ft sales floor area, provided that:

(i) it would not compromise highway safety and the free flow of traffic;

(ii) adequate car parking provision is made;

(iii) adequate landscaping is provided, including boundary treatment, and significant trees on site retained;

(iv) a legal agreement is entered into which secures the provision of a District Centre at Grange Farm, Kesgrave.

The Grange Farm District Centre, as shown on the Proposals Map, shall incorporate a supermarket of no less than 15,000 sq ft gross floor area and unit shops totalling 5,000 sq ft gross floor area. Furthermore:

(a) development of the supermarket shall take place no later than the completion of 1,500 dwellings of the Grange Farm development for which planning consent has been granted;

(b) the supermarket shall have been completed and shall be operating before the food store at Martlesham Heath commences trading; and

(c) a legally binding agreement shall guarantee the supermarket operates for at least 5 years from opening.

Footnote: During the later stages of the preparation of the Local Plan development commenced on the construction of two food stores in general accordance with this policy. These two food stores are now trading.

13.61 The trading catchment areas of the store at Warren Heath, together with those proposed at Grange Farm and Martlesham Heath in accordance with Policy AP221, will extend into and around Ipswich and also as far afield as Felixstowe, Woodbridge and other locations along the A12 and A14. It is considered that these stores will be sufficient for the needs of the area. Further large scale out-of-town food retailing will be assessed against Policy AP61.

COMMUNICATIONS

PARK AND RIDE

13.62 The need for a comprehensive transport strategy to address and deal with potential problems in and around the Ipswich area was identified in the late 1980s. As a result, Suffolk County Council and Ipswich Borough Council agreed to jointly fund a traffic study and consultants were appointed to undertake this task. This work commenced in October 1988.

13.63 Following the completion of the Ipswich Traffic Study in May 1991, an extensive public consultation exercise was carried out in the Summer of 1991. The overall response from the public and consultees was generally for, and supportive of, the introduction of Park and Ride facilities in Ipswich. A transport strategy, including Park and Ride, was adopted by the County Council in November 1991. The essence of this approved strategy was the provision of a comprehensive package of proposals with each component contributing to the overall aims and objectives.

13.64 In 1994 the County Council reviewed the priorities of the Transport Strategy to encourage alternative measures to new road building and put greater emphasis on improving public transport. A revised strategy was subsequently adopted as Policy IP8 of the Structure Plan (Incorporating Alterations 1, 2 and 3) in June 1995. The provision of Park and Ride was given high priority.

13.65 By providing convenient car parks on the edge of the urban area with good public transport links to the centre, motorists can drive to these outlying car parks and continue their journey by bus. In this way, the car will be used for that part of the journey which is least congested and less well served by public transport. Public transport could be used for the most congested section of the journey where it is most efficient. As well as reducing demand for road space in the urban road network, Park and Ride also reduces the demand for central area car parking.

13.66 The principle of providing Park and Ride facilities has, therefore, been accepted and is not an issue. As part of the implementation of this policy objective the selection of specific sites becomes the issue.

13.67 The approved implementation strategy concluded that a Park and Ride site should be provided to the east of Ipswich, in the Kesgrave/Martlesham area, within two years of implementing one to the west at the Copdock Park and Ride site. The Copdock Park and Ride facility became operational in November 1997.

13.68 The public consultation exercise on six potential sites in the Kesgrave/Martlesham area was carried out in 1996. Subsequently, the District Council gave careful consideration to the factors which led the County Council to prefer a location in the general vicinity of the A1214 at Martlesham and to the west of the Martlesham A12/A1214 junction in particular.

13.69 As part of a review of all potential site options (including those put forward as alternatives by objectors to a site to the south of the A1214 between Portal and Deben Avenues, to which residents have access as amenity woodland), the District Council has identified, within land to the north of the A1214 which is designated as a Special Landscape Area, a relatively well screened, open area immediately adjacent to the A12. This site also offers the potential to compensate for the impact on the Special Landscape Area by the positive restoration of woodland following storm damage over the past decade, which could be secured as part of a carefully planned landscape scheme for the periphery of a park and ride site.

13.70 The District Council has concluded that, on balance, the environmental benefits and the unique nature of a public facility to serve a strategic transport need justify locating the park and ride site where it would not accept any other form of development, and that the disbenefit of encroaching on an area of special landscape importance may be seen to be outweighed by the need to avoid alternative sites which are perceived to have a greater public amenity value.

13.71 Consequently, the District Council has concluded that these factors justify identification of a small part of the Special Landscape Area for a park and ride facility, subject to a proven justification for it, particularly in the light of experience of the Copdock site on the south-west side of Ipswich. In judging the success of the Copdock Mill park and ride scheme, regard will be had to:

(i) its contribution to the transport policies, objectives and targets set out in the County Structure Plan and the Ipswich Transport Strategy; and

(ii) the aims and objectives of likely emerging government good practice on establishing and monitoring park and ride facilities.

The allocation would also need to be dependent on specific planning policy criteria being met which are designed:

(i) to minimise the environmental effect;

(ii) to provide for a degree of woodland restoration; and

(iii) to ensure that only the development required for the essential operation of a public park and ride facility would be permitted, in view of the need to protect the integrity of the designated area.

POLICY AP222

Ipswich Fringe: A1214 Park and Ride

As part of the strategic implementation of sustainable transport measures for the Ipswich Area, land north of the A1214 at Martlesham, as shown on the Proposals Map, is proposed for a car park for a "park and ride" facility providing it can be demonstrated that:

(i) no existing transport facilities can be adapted for the purpose;

(ii) there is proven justification for the facility, proven lack of suitable alternative sites and proven success of that constructed at Copdock Mill Interchange to the west of Ipswich for a period of at least two years of full operation;

In the event of proven need for the development, the following criteria will apply within the area shown on the Proposals Map:

a) the car park shall be located in the open part of the site adjacent to the A12;

b) a high standard of layout and design, respecting the landscape quality of the site and its setting;

c) the minimum loss of trees, retaining those fronting the A1214 (except for those required to create a safe access/egress for buses), and those required to protect the amenity of adjacent residential property;

d) measures to restore storm damage to existing woodland;

e) strengthening of existing planting along the A12 boundary of the site;

f) measures to ensure essential lighting is contained within the site and kept to the minimum commensurate with public safety and security (see also Policy AP97);

g) the provision of appropriate highway improvement measures to secure safe and convenient direct access/egress from the A12/A1214 (Martlesham) roundabout and a separate bus access/egress to the west; and

h) provision is made for the archaeological evaluation of the site prior to development taking place.

Only those buildings, structures and uses essential for the operation of the park and ride facility will be permitted within the Special Landscape Area. If the facility ceases to be operational the site will be cleared and returned to its natural state.

EDUCATION

13.72 The District Council recognises the need for a Roman Catholic Voluntary Aided Primary School to serve the east of Ipswich and a catchment area extending to Felixstowe and Woodbridge. The Grange Farm development is well located to provide a site for the School.

13.73 Such a site has been identified and development of the site for a school would necessitate a change to the Master Plan (and associated legal agreement), including compensatory provision of housing land and open space. This necessitates an extension of the development southwards to accommodate a new area of open space, the precise area of which will be determined following detailed consideration of land requirements. In order to protect this area from development, the Council will require a Section 106 Agreement to be executed before planning permission for the school will be granted. In the meantime, an area has been shown on the Proposals Map but this may be subject to minor variance.

POLICY AP223

Ipswich Fringe: Roman Catholic School at Grange Farm

Part of the Grange Farm development, Kesgrave, as shown on the Proposals Map, is suitable for the development of a Roman Catholic Voluntary Aided Primary School. This would necessitate an amendment to the overall Master Plan to the effect that:

(i) the loss of residential land could be compensated by the development of part of the areas of open space shown on the Master Plan;

(ii) the loss of this open space can itself be compensated by the extension of the development southwards to provide a new area of open space, as shown on the Proposals Map.

Planning permission for a Roman Catholic Voluntary Aided Primary School will not be granted until a satisfactory Section 106 Agreement has been executed.

13.74 It should be noted that the above policy relates to the development of a Roman Catholic Voluntary Aided School. In the event that the site is not required for this use after planning permission for a school has been granted, the Council will expect the original Master Plan to be implemented. Only if it is satisfied that this is not practically possible, for example, because development has commenced on the open space or land has been acquired, will consideration be given to the development for other uses. These shall be restricted to another institution or those related to community, recreational or charitable purposes.

13.75 Suffolk County Council proposes to provide a new primary school at Grange Farm, Kesgrave. The site for this proposed new school has been identified and is shown on the Proposals Map.

POLICY AP224

Ipswich Fringe: Primary School Site, Kesgrave

Land at Grange Farm, Kesgrave, as shown on the Proposals Map, is identified for the purposes of providing a primary school.

COUNTRYSIDE

LANDSCAPE

13.76 The District Council endorses the principles which the County Council has defined for the purposes of guiding the location of future development in the Ipswich Policy Area and, in particular, the need to protect and enhance those parts of the landscape setting of the town recognised by their status as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a Special Landscape Area , or other areas of attractive landscape made vulnerable by their close proximity to built-up areas, or by previous attempts to secure their release for development.

13.77 Two parts of the Ipswich Eastern Fringe are within the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB - the River Orwell and its foreshore, extending northwards approximately to the line of the Ipswich bypass, and the Martlesham Creek area of the River Deben at Martlesham.

13.78 The District Council will seek to prevent any development from taking place within the AONB which would have a significant impact on it by considering any applications for development against the general policy AP12 and other policies in Part One of the Plan. Specific policies for the Priory area at Nacton are contained in paras13.116 to 13.118.

13.79 Both the Mill River valley and the River Fynn valley are identified as Special Landscape Areas, as shown on the Proposals Map. Any development within these areas must be sensitively designed with high standards of layout, materials and landscaping. Policy AP13 will apply within these areas.

NATURE CONSERVATION

13.80 The River Orwell and foreshore, as well as being probably one of the most beautiful areas of landscape in Suffolk, is also an extremely important area for wildlife. Apart from the river itself and its associated mudflats and saltmarshes, the area contains a variety of woodlands, areas of scrub and grass, marshland and quarry, which provide a great diversity of natural habitats for a considerable number of species of animals, birds and plants.

13.81 The Orwell is a nationally important estuary for at least 15 species of birds and is internationally important for over-wintering birds. It is also important for the wide range of vegetation supported by the salt marsh and mudflats. It has been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, a Special Protection Area and a Wetland of International Importance (a Ramsar Site) (see paras 1.66 to 1.70). Policy AP15 in Chapter One will apply to these areas.

13.82 Martlesham Creek is included within the Deben Estuary Site of Special Specific Interest which is also designated as a Special Protection Area under European Legislation (The European Community Council Directive on the Conservation of Wild Birds - April 1979 - "The Birds Directive" as amended by the Habitats Directive) and as a Ramsar Site (A Wetland of International Importance supporting a range of wetland bird species). Martlesham Creek itself is one of only 14 sites in the United Kingdom supporting a population of an endangered mollusc "vertigo augustior". Policy AP15 of the Suffolk Coastal Local Plan applies.

13.83 Elsewhere within the area are a number of other important wildlife sites, some of which are designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest, or County Wildlife Sites to which Policy AP15 would also apply.

COUNTRYSIDE MANAGEMENT

13.84 In respect of the River Orwell, the District Council has always recognised that there needs to be a balance between the competing demands of increased public access to meet the needs of informal recreation in the Countryside and the need to conserve and protect this extremely sensitive and vulnerable area of great beauty and importance as a wildlife habitat.

13.85 This balance has now been further recognised by the preparation and adoption of the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Management Plan, which includes a detailed section relating to the Orwell Estuary. The Coast and Heaths Partnership has also undertaken a detailed study of all the issues affecting the management of the Orwell and Stour culminating in a Management Plan to check all the "river users" have signed up. The fact that these users are prepared to discuss sometimes contentious issues goes a long way towards reducing conflicts and to the more sustainable management of and use of the river. The District Council's intention actively to encourage the implementation of this Management Plan is expressed in Policy AP10.

13.86 Elsewhere, the eastern fringe of Ipswich will, during the period of the Local Plan, continue to experience major growth. This will take place alongside areas of very high landscape quality, including the AONB, itself already under considerable pressure from recreational and other related development.

13.87 Many existing recreational activities are already provided for within the eastern fringe, including events at Foxhall Stadium and the Suffolk Showground, in addition to the Rushmere Heath and Purdis Farm Golf Courses.

13.88 The District Council considers that there is a clear need to designate a large part of the countryside lying between the built-up areas and the eastern section of the Ipswich bypass as a major recreation corridor in which to cater for future open air needs of the fast-growing population and to take pressure away from the AONB, the north shores of the Orwell and west bank of the Deben. This objective is encompassed in the Greenways Countryside Project Strategy, as described in Policy LP10A.

13.89 The planned development and management of informal recreational activities of a "country park" nature, including nature trails and picnic areas, possibly in association with new woodland, would help to curtail over-use or misuse of the existing fragile woodland and heathland currently experiencing neglect and vandalism. Consideration should be given in the Management Plan to the provision of vehicle and pedestrian access from Grange Farm to the northern end of the Management Plan area. The possible benefits would include more recreational space for residents, reduction of pressures on local roads like Bell Lane and Dobbs Lane and increase in the commercial viability of facilities promoted by the policy.

13.90 The Greenways Countryside Project in this policy area covers parishes fringing the eastern side of Ipswich, but extending out as far as Martlesham. The Project, which has no statutory powers, has seven basic aims as set out in a Strategy Report:

(i) to care for the countryside and open space in and around Ipswich, for the benefit of people and wildlife;

(ii) to improve opportunities for all sections of the community to enjoy quiet recreational activities in the countryside around Ipswich;

(iii) to involve local people in practical countryside management activities and aid co-operation between local communities, landowners and other agencies;

(iv) to protect and improve the quality of the landscape character, wildlife habitats and archaeological sites within the Project area;

(v) to increase awareness and appreciation of the area and its value, and potential for conservation and recreation;

(vi) to contribute to the implementation of relevant planning policies within the Project Area and encourage planning authorities to help achieve the other aims of the project;

(vii) to resolve land use conflicts in the urban fringe, allowing public access to go hand-in-hand with a living, working countryside.

It has been formulated on the basis of consultations with, and the co-operation of, landowners and other relevant interests. In addition to being actively involved in the practical management of a number of public open space areas, the project will also encourage the creation of new ones through the planning process and will assist planning authorities in identifying the best areas.

13.91 Any proposals for additional public open space or informal recreation provision will be considered against Policy AP106. Proposals will be particularly encouraged where they would relieve pressure on the AONB and/or provide small-scale informal facilities, such as picnic sites, nature trails and pedestrian access to the countryside, together with suitable vehicular access, as appropriate, for nearby communities.

13.92 In addition to the recreational function of this Management Plan, it will provide an opportunity to co-ordinate the management of a number of sensitive landscape and wildlife habitats, where there is a need to balance the competing demands of public access and nature conservation. In particular, this applies to the wetlands of the Mill River and its tributaries, including the Bucklesham Road springs, the wet meadows and marshes lying in the valley bottom; the decoy ponds on Purdis Golf Course; and the remaining areas of heathland, such as Purdis Heath, Martlesham Heath and Brightwell Heath.

13.93 Such policies as those for the protection of the Countryside and the Special Landscape Area will continue to be relevant, and the Management Plan provides the context within which these recreational and conservation objectives in this area can be achieved.

FOXHALL ROAD AND ITS ENVIRONS

13.94 In addition to this general concept, specific policies for the Foxhall Road Woodlands, including the Stadium and the Suffolk Showground are required because of their unique circumstances and the pressures which they create.

13.95 The Foxhall Road woodlands create an extremely attractive area lying beyond the built-up frontages north and south of the Foxhall Road. The whole of the woodland to the north of the road is criss-crossed by a number of public footpaths. This area is extensively used by the general public for informal and unofficial recreational purposes and is likely to come under increasing pressure as Bixley Farm to the west is developed.

13.96 Parts of the woodland fronting the Foxhall Road and along the edge of Brookhill stream are already protected by a Tree Preservation Order. Although extensively damaged by the October 1987 storm, these woodland areas still contain sufficient trees to retain their extremely attractive appearance and justify their management and replanting where appropriate.

13.97 Within this area there may be potential for informal recreational activities (the Stadium is considered in para 13.101 below), subject to no overriding access, highway, landscape or amenity objections. Residential development within this area is not considered acceptable owing to its high landscape value and its existing recreational importance to those people living in the vicinity.

13.98 Brookhill Woods on the south side of Foxhall Road is a dense area of woodland dominated by coppiced birch and sweet chestnut, which is protected by a Tree Preservation Order.

13.99 The District Council wish to preserve the character of both the woodland and heathland to the north and south of Foxhall Road by preventing any extensions to the Foxhall Stadium which would significantly increase the disturbance of the adjacent residential areas (see para 13.101) and by retaining and, where possible, enhancing the woods and heath. The inclusion of the whole of this area within the major recreation corridor and its associated Management Plan will help to achieve these objectives and establish the framework against which recreational proposals can be judged.

13.100 In addition, the following specific policy will be applied to these areas:

POLICY AP225

Ipswich Fringe: Foxhall Road Woodlands

Planning permission will not be granted for development proposals which would neither protect nor enhance the character of the woodland and heathland north and south of Foxhall Road, as defined on the Proposals Map.

13.101 The Foxhall Stadium is set in the north-west corner of the woodland. It is a long-established centre for motor sports and speedway events. It is an important regional sporting facility, which attracts large numbers of spectators from a wide area. By its very nature, however, it creates considerable disturbance to local residents at certain times.

13.102 The District Council has sought to maintain a balance between the often conflicting desires of speedway supporters and local residents, and agreements have been made between the stadium owners on the number of events and practice sessions which are considered acceptable. The District Council will continue to exercise control over events taking place at the stadium, but will not seek to terminate or unreasonably restrict the use of the stadium. Any proposals to extend the stadium which would be likely to significantly increase the disturbance to adjacent residential areas, however, would not be acceptable.

POLICY AP226

Ipswich Fringe: Foxhall Stadium

Proposals to enlarge the Foxhall Stadium, as shown on the Proposals Map, which would significantly increase the disturbance of the adjacent residential areas of Kesgrave or Bixley Farm, will be resisted.

RECREATION

SUFFOLK SHOWGROUND

13.103 The Suffolk Showground is an important facility both within the Ipswich area and regionally. The District Council supports the concept of the showground being used more intensively,provided access in connection with any event taking place is from the recently completed Felixstowe Road roundabout, with any other accesses, including those from the Bucklesham Road, being used only as emergency accesses or for administrative purposes. This will not only rationalise the access, internal road layout and car parking aspects of the showground, but will also reduce to a minimum the impact of the showground on Bucklesham Road.

13.104 The District Council does not propose to specify in this Local Plan a precise list of land uses for the area, since much would depend on their frequency and degree of impact on local residents. However, the Council will seek to agree with the Suffolk Agricultural Association, possibly on an annual basis, a schedule of potential uses and will give sympathetic consideration to any recreational activity, such as livestock shows, exhibitions and rallies, including touring caravans, provided adequate on-site car parking and the amenity of adjoining residential areas is protected. There is considerable scope for the showground to be dramatically visually improved by further tree planting. The holding of a wide range of non-recreational events may also be appropriate on the showground, provided they utilise the newly-constructed Felixstowe Road access and the prior consent of the District Council is obtained.

13.105 In order to regulate the use of the showground, the District Council will apply the following policy:

POLICY AP227

Ipswich Fringe: Suffolk Showground, Purdis Farm

The District Council will encourage the more intensive use of the Suffolk Showground, as shown on the Proposals Map, provided:

(i) access for all events is off the Felixstowe Road by means of the recently constructed roundabout;

(ii) adequate on-site car parking is provided, commensurate with the land uses proposed;

(iii) appropriate measures are taken, including the strengthening of existing hedgerows to protect the amenity of adjacent residential areas;

(iv) any permanent new land use proposals for any part of the site are directly associated with recreation and/or tourism and would have no significant adverse effect on local residents.

The use of the Showground for other events will be considered on their merits.

SPORTS GROUNDS

13.106 It is a general policy of this Plan that sports facilities should be protected because of their role and their contribution to the character of an area (Policy AP104).

13.107 The sports grounds near Rushmere Street, together with the adjoining undeveloped land on the north-east side of Humber Doucy Lane, create a very important green space between Ipswich and Rushmere Street, and the developed areas of Kesgrave and Rushmere to the south. The District Council supports local opinion that the contribution this open land makes to the visual amenity of the area is considerable, and believes that it should remain either in recreational use or be returned to agriculture. These areas are, in any event, already identified as Countryside in which it is anticipated that existing land uses shall remain for the most part undisturbed, and the need to prevent the coalescence of the settlements with Ipswich has already been expressed (Policy AP212)

13.108 In addition to the visual importance of these open areas, the sports grounds contribute to meeting the recreational needs of the Ipswich area. The District Council acknowledges that accurate assessment of the demand for sports facilities, or the precise level of provision that ought to be made available, is difficult. Nevertheless, it has no evidence to suggest that these sports grounds no longer play an important role in meeting the recreational needs of the Ipswich area. The District Council will apply the following policy:

POLICY AP228

Ipswich Fringe: Open Spaces near Rushmere Street

The District Council recognises the visual importance of the open spaces in the vicinity of Rushmere Street and Humber Doucy Lane, as shown on the Proposals Map, and will not permit development on them, other than as sports grounds or for associated recreational uses.

PUBLIC FOOTPATHS AND BRIDLEWAYS

13.109 Reference has already been made, in Chapter Seven, to the importance which the District Council attaches to maintaining and expanding where possible the existing network of public rights of way (para 7.32 and Policy AP107).

13.110 Proposals for additional bridleways are included within the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Management Plan. Further opportunities for additional footpaths or bridleways may arise during the preparation of the Management Plan for the Eastern Fringe area, as discussed in paras 13.88 to 13.91.

WATER RECREATION

River Orwell

13.111 During the last few years there has been an increasing pressure for a variety of uses on the River Orwell. These pressures include uses for recreation and tourism, leading to demands for additional moorings, marinas and associated land-based facilities, conflicts between commercial and pleasure craft and associated demands for additional areas for parking and picnicking, and footpaths across private land. These pressures are likely to continue to increase, particularly with the improving road and rail links to Ipswich from London and the Midlands.

13.112 This increase has now led the Ipswich Port Authority to conclude that any further significant increase in pleasure craft moorings and marina berths in the Orwell would seriously prejudice river safety, particularly as commercial traffic to the Port of Ipswich continues to increase.

13.113 The Ipswich Port Authority and the Ipswich Borough Council (as owners of the river bed) are, therefore, unwilling to grant any further licences for moorings and marina berths between Pond Hall and Levington Creek. Whilst there are no marinas within this section of the river at present, this stance by the Ipswich Borough Council and the Ipswich Port Authority would preclude any becoming established. Bearing in mind this restrictive practice, the high quality of the environment in landscape and wildlife terms, and limited access, such development would be unacceptable and Policy AP116 will be strictly applied. In addition, the District Council would welcome the establishment of a River Orwell Users' Association to seek to regulate and rationalise the number of moorings on the River and avoid potential conflicts.

Martlesham Creek

13.114 The Deben estuary and its creeks have seen a slow but steady increase in waterborne activity over the years, and Associations formed to seek ways of controlling growth recognise that if the natural beauty and character of the river is to be conserved, quite apart from questions of safety, there now needs to be action to limit further development, both on land and water.

13.115 As well as generally seeking means to protect the natural landscape of the River Deben from any further recreational development, the District Council is also concerned to ensure that the natural appearance of the Martlesham Creek area is preserved and where possible enhanced. The District Council will exercise strict control over development in order to discourage any development within this area which is likely to have an adverse effect on it. Further opportunities may arise for the natural beauty of the area to be safeguarded, or even enhanced through management agreements, and these would be supported by the Council. In addition to those general policies applicable to development in the Countryside and the general AONB policy, the District Council's general Policy AP115 will apply.

THE PRIORY AREA

13.116 There is an existing caravan site at Alnesbourn Priory which currently has planning permission for 100 residential caravans, 160 static holiday caravans and 120 touring caravans. A number of leisure facilities have also been provided, including a golf course immediately adjacent to the river. There is a Scout camping site immediately adjacent to the caravan site, which is intensively used during holiday periods. There has recently been pressure for the siting of additional holiday caravans on the adjoining land to the north.

13.117 The District Council recognises that part of this area is already used as a residential and holiday caravan site and that there may be potential for some limited expansion of the recreational and holiday caravan use of the area, as defined on the Proposals Map. The additional capacity of the site depends upon the ability to improve the access bridge across the Ipswich bypass and the access road leading from the Nacton Road. Policy AP44 would preclude any increase in the number of residential caravans on the site.

13.118 Before approval is given for any additional holiday caravans in this area, a comprehensive Design Brief will be necessary, which is acceptable not only to the District Council and the landowners, but also to the County Council and the Ipswich Borough Council as owners of the Airport, across which the access road runs. This Design Brief will need to show the level of additional accommodation, acceptable locations for the caravans, landscaping, internal access arrangements and any other required facilities. It will also need to demonstrate that the proposals for further recreational use of the area will have no adverse visual impact when viewed from the river or the south bank of the Orwell. The preparation of such a Design Brief will require a degree of co-operation between the landowners; this is considered essential if the unsatisfactory unco-ordinated piecemeal development of the area is to be avoided. The following policy will, therefore, apply in this area, as shown on the Proposals Map:

POLICY AP229

Ipswich Fringe: The Priory Area, Nacton

Further limited recreational use (including holiday caravans and camping) of the Priory Area, as defined on the Proposals Map, may be acceptable, provided it conforms to an agreed Design Brief. Unco-ordinated expansion of holiday caravan or camping facilities, and proposals which conflict with Policy AP111 will not be permitted.

IMPLEMENTATION

13.119 Within this Section on the Ipswich Eastern Fringe are a number of proposals which are site or area specific. These are listed in the following schedule, together with an indication of the implementing agency and the likely timing. Please note that the timing is only an estimate and will be influenced by a number of factors, notably market forces or the availability of finance.