Suffolk Coastal Local Plan - Final Draft

Document Section Final Draft Local Plan 12 Strategy for Communities Surrounding Ipswich Suffolk Police Headquarters, Portal Avenue, Martlesham Heath Policy SCLP12.25: Suffolk Police HQ, Portal Avenue, Martlesham [View all comments on this section]
Comment ID 732
Respondent Martlesham Parish Council (Rob… [View all comments by this respondent]
Response Date 25 Feb 2019
Do you consider that this part of the Plan meets the legal and procedural requirements? No
Do you consider this part of the Plan has met the tests of soundness? No
Do you consider this part of the Plan to be unsound because it's not:
  • Positively prepared
  • Justified
  • Effective
Details of Representation

Housing numbers, types and density.

The original public plan which Suffolk Constabulary published showed 250 dwellings. The LPA has increased this to 300 (for which we can find no justification) which suggests extremely high density especially taking into account the other facilities and features listed in the policy.

Para 12.227 mentions the Neighbourhood Plan (MAR5 page 29) as identifying a need for bungalows, flats and sheltered accommodation. This is true; however, the policy fails to take into account para 5.10 of the NP which says the target proportions of types of housing listed in table 5.2 (which are taken from the 2013 Local Plan) would be broadly appropriate for developments in Martlesham.  The similar table in the latest draft local plan is not much changed.

The success of Martlesham as a socially cohesive community over the 45 years or so since its inception flows partly from its design and partly from the integration of housing of varying types and sizes, catering for all ages, family sizes and life-stages - often in the same road.

It was not an homogeneous collection of similar sized houses such as SCLP12.25 implies.

There is a shortage of homes for downsizing as mentioned in para 5.6 and 5.7 of the NP. According to data obtained from the Suffolk Observatory in 2011 23% were retired (2011 census) and 2017 estimates from the same source show 30% aged 65 or over.  The cohort of residents who moved with BT to live and work in Martlesham in the 70s is now well into retirement.  There is also a shortage of residential care home capacity in this area and none appears to planned for the Brightwell Lakes site. Although policy SCLP12.33 for the Woodbridge FC site refers to “housing suitable to meet the needs of the elderly” this is does not really address the local needs in this part of Martlesham. The local care home at Kesgrave seems to be routinely at capacity with a waiting list.

Therefore, notwithstanding our strong objection to the principle of change of use of this site, this policy, if it stands, should be revised to take account of the local housing needs as set out in the NP and the above comments. This should be done in conjunction with Parish Council as the Qualifying Body.

One of the underpinning philosophies in the original planning application for Martlesham Heath was that there should be a sense of ownership of the open spaces and this was achieved (with the encouragement and agreement of the LPA) by the setting up of a not for profit company (run by volunteers) who would maintain the open spaces. and funded by an annual fee. This is enforced by means of a covenant for each house. 

It is noted that para 12.231 of the Draft LP refers to residents’ use of the natural surroundings. Given that the site is contiguous with the land which the above company maintains, reference should be made to the above arrangement and that residents in any new development also become shareholders reflecting their use of the maintained open spaces. Not do this would be divisive in the community.

Please set out what change(s) you consider necessary to make the Local Plan legally compliant or sound

Our preference is for withdrawal of the policy. At a minimum Martlesham Parish Council would like to be involved in redrafting this policy. 

If your representation is seeking a change, do you consider it necessary to participate in the public examination?
  • Yes, I wish to participate at the oral examination
If you wish to participate in the public examination, please outline why you consider it to be necessary:

Inconsistent with made Martlesham NP.

Being kept informed
  • Yes, I would like to be kept informed