NANT Response to recent articles in the EADT-March 2016

The EADT has recently carried several articles regarding Housing Development in the areas around Martlesham, Woodbridge and Kesgrave.  The quotations from District Councillors Holdcroft and Smith indicate that these councillors are suffering from significant short-term memory loss.  If not, then the only conclusion is that they are displaying rank hypocrisy and double standards.

The EADT 25/2/16 reported that Cllrs Holdcroft and Smith decided to defer a decision on a planning application for 300 houses to the south of Kesgrave, to “enable planners to meet the developers with a view to increasing the housing numbers to 1000”.

This completely contradicts their previous decision to reject this precise location as a site for an allocation of 1050 houses, choosing instead the BT Adastral Park site.  The reasons for that rejection included “The close proximity of Foxhall Stadium to this area would likely cause significant noise issues on part of the site and would not be a good neighbour”.

The Foxhall Stadium is still in the same location but Cllr Smith now says that 1000 houses would be sustainable at the site, and Holdcroft now says, “building 1,000 or more homes on the land would be the best way to create a vibrant community”

It is worth remembering that after 1050 houses had been allocated to BT Adastral Park, these same councillors very quickly decided to increase the number to 2000 because “1050 was not sufficient to create a sustainable community”.  It would appear that SCDC is now actively seeking to increase the number of new houses in the East of Ipswich Area from the original 1000, to in excess of 3500.

Neither councillor seems to have any concerns about the coalescence of Kesgrave, Grange Farm and Martlesham Heath along with the proposed BT Adastral Park development, which would then form a continuous urban sprawl from Ipswich to the Deben Estuary.

However, when an application for 215 houses is within Cllr Holdcroft’s own electoral ward he votes against it on the grounds that “This field and the adjoining field are the last bastions between the coalescence of Woodbridge and Martlesham and neither of us wants coalescence of these neighbourhoods”.  EADT 26/2/16

Holdcroft also said that although the land (in his ward) was “economically and socially sustainable as a housing site, the environmental impact (on the Deben SPA) was not acceptable”.

He is probably correct but nonetheless his statement is very odd.  Cllr Holdcroft was happy to disregard the environmental impact that 2000 houses at BT Adastral Park (not in his electoral ward) will have the Deben Estuary SPA and yet is so exercised by the possible impact of 200 houses when they are in his own ward. Some might say that personal interest is at work here – we couldn’t possibly comment.

And finally, in the EADT article of 27/2/16, regarding the planning application for 2000 houses at BT Adastral Park.  SCDC stated “The developers are looking to start building homes on the site in the first quarter of 2018.  Adastral Park is now moving forward”.

The 2009 planning application has not been determined and is now considerably out of date.  There is no reference to a new planning application from BT on the SCDC website so it would appear that BT has yet to submit a relevant application, never mind receive approval.  It seems somewhat premature therefore to be predetermining when the building is going to start.

NANT’s legal advisers say that “the domestic courts were in breach of obligations under EU law in relation to the way they dealt with our case, in particular failed to refer it to the European Court of Justice, and we are making a formal complaint to the European Commission along those lines”.

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