News

UVW update - January 2018

Background to Site UVW
The UVW Plot between the School and Fenbight Circle, off of Downham Boulevard, was due to have had 94 Council Homes built upon it some 3 years ago.  However, a considerable number of Ravenswood residents, formally represented by the Ravenswood Residents Association (the RRA) pointed out to Ipswich Borough Council that its proposal went against the Government's NPPF – (National Policy Guidelines) which recommended not building more than 15 new Council homes in close proximity to each other, without building new Freehold homes for sale, thus continuing with the mixed-tenure development which has always been the planning policy at Ravenswood. The total current mixture of dwellings at Ravenswood amounts to approximately 65% private housing, with the remaining 35% consisting of housing comprised of disability bungalows, housing association’s dwellings and some Council housing. The housing plan shows that this latter 35% is dotted around and mixed up in a pepper-pot way throughout the development in amongst the private housing so that no one type of property stands out from any other. Purchasers and investors electing to ‘buy-in’ to Ravenswood were therefore buying in to the Policy for this harmonious way of living, which was after all, a Policy that was produced and approved by Ipswich Borough Council the best part of 18 years ago when Bellway Homes started to build the first homes here.

With regard to site UVW the RRA, backed by the residents, decided to try to negotiate a better plan with IBC, but when our pleas fell on stony ground we sought the help of solicitors and subsequently, and perhaps more importantly, politicians who could interpret and relate to the NPPF guidelines. After submitting our viewpoints, IBC and the RRA met at a Government Call-in to put our cases before an Inspector and following a period of deliberation the Secretary of State ruled that the case put forward by the RRA and the Residents had been the correct path to follow.

Current Situation  
The current situation is extremely encouraging in that IBC's Housing Strategy 2017 -2022 confirms that the tenure split identified for new housing schemes should be made up with:

65.8% Market/Private housing
19.4% Affordable Rented housing
14.8% Affordable Home Ownership (5% Shared Ownership and 9.8% Starter Homes).

Council Leader David Ellesmere was quoted in the Ipswich Star in November 2017 as saying that... "as a result of a Government decision on the proposed new homes at Ravenswood, we are not able to build more than 15 new council houses without also building new homes for sale or for market rent." This had been part of the RRA's case against IBC when they told us that IBC could not build and sell houses. Detective work by the RRA with help from Councillors supporting our case, identified at least 3 other councils in East Anglia who were doing just that, and to keep the books separate for administering the houses for sale, they confirmed that they had all set up separate companies for just this task.

Now some year or so later, David Ellesmere confirmed to the Ipswich Star that IBC " has set-up a new Council-owned company, Handford Homes Ltd." to handle the aforementioned administration surrounding the sale of Market/Private Housing.

In summary and after the best part of 3 years of campaigning ‘we’ are, where we all could have been at the beginning of this saga, if only the existing and proven Planning Policy conditions had been applied to site UVW.  The residents supporting the RRA are pleased that sense has prevailed and have been glad to interact with IBC and agree upon a mutually acceptable outcome for all.  For the benefit of all residents residing at Ravenswood it was our commitment to you all that the Planning Policy would remain the same throughout the development, which in our view, has contributed to the popularity of Ravenswood as a pleasant place to live for nearly 20 years.

 

Ravenswood Residents Association Annual General Meeting 2017

Date: Tuesday 27th June 2017
Start time: 7:30pm
Location: Ravenswood Community Centre

 

Ravenswood Residents Association is now in its 16th year of existence, so come along and meet the Committee of people who work on your behalf to help make Ravenswood a better place for all residents.

Everyone who lives on Ravenswood is welcome to attend.  This is your opportunity to share your Ravenswood related concerns with us and our invited guests.

Our guests include our local Councillors and Inspector Andy Pursehouse from Suffolk Constabulary.

Road Markings on the Thrasher roundabout

Following the Residents Association's discussions with Suffolk County Council's Highways Dept., we are pleased to see they have now renewed the ‘keep clear’ road markings on the Thrasher round-a-bout.  
We hope this will make entering and exiting Ravenswood a little easier.

RRA meeting with Suffolk CC - Minutes of meeting 23rd August 2016

Ravenswood Residents Association Meeting with Suffolk County Council

Held on Tuesday 23rd August 2016 at 3:30pm

Minutes

Present:

RRA Chairperson:                      Susan Andrews

RRA Action Group Member:      Bryan Patterson

Suffolk County Council (SCC):   Sam Harvey: Highways Dept.

Councillor Bill Quinton

Councillor Bill Knowles

The meeting was arranged by Ravenswood Residents Association (RRA) Chair, Susan Andrews to discuss several issues that had been brought to the attention of the RRA during and prior to the RRA’s Annual General Meeting which took place on 20th July 2016.

Point to note – this type of meeting with SCC Highways, is virtually unheard of now as the Highways Dept., has ceased to meet with Residents Associations, Parish Councils and the like.  We are therefore very grateful to Councillors Quinton & Knowles for encouraging Sam Harvey’s participation in meeting with us.

Parking on verges along Ravenswood Avenue

A significant number of residents have complained about the parking of cars on the grass verges particularly along Ravenswood Avenue.  This has caused the aesthetics of the roadside to become compromised with deep ‘ruts’ filling with water when it rains.  The parking has also compromised residents line of sight as they come out of their drives with some narrowly avoiding a collision.

SCC plan to install signs on posts along the verges in key areas along Ravenswood Avenue.  These signs will indicate:  NO PARKING ON VERGES.  This will be ‘patrolled’ by officials from Ipswich Borough Council and fines will be imposed on offenders. This will also include traffic parked on the verges outside the school.

People parking on the verges displaying the new signs will firstly be given a warning notice however, if a 2nd offence is noted then a fine will be imposed.

This is hoped to encourage residents to park in their own driveway and more sensible parking on the road which will create natural ‘chicanes’ and this should intern, have the effect of slowing down oncoming traffic. (Speeding is also an issue – see below).

SCC will not be providing any additional parking areas near the school to facilitate pick-up/drop off times, despite the RRAs request.

Speeding along Ravenswood Avenue and Downham Boulevard

The speed survey carried out recently showed that people were driving above the speed limit of 20 miles per hour along Ravenswood Avenue and Downham Boulevard. (The average speed of 85% of vehicles in SCC’s report was around 25 to 28 miles per hour with a few exceeding this).

It is hoped that by encouraging sensible parking along these roads (see point above under Parking on verges) should have the additional effect of reducing the speed of oncoming vehicles.

In addition, we have requested 2 more 20 mile per hour signs painted on the road of Ravenswood Avenue – 1 near the school and the other as you come out of the conifer chicane heading towards the Bus Gate.

For Downham Boulevard SCC intend to install additional traffic calming measures such as road humps.  Sam Harvey will be writing to all residents of Downham Boulevard as part of the consultation process prior to anything being done.

Bus Gate

The Bus Gate is for use by buses and emergency vehicles only however, this is regularly being abused with the danger of smaller vehicles becoming impaled on the granite stones and completely blocking the road. 

Improved signage will eventually be installed to deter traffic other than buses from using the bus gate.  Sam Harvey indicated that a 24 hour a day survey (traffic count) will be undertaken as soon as the schools are back in operation. The technology used can differentiate between a car, bus, cyclist, etc., so the report should be fairly comprehensive and will allow SCC to decide whether further measures are needed to deter unauthorised vehicles.

Thrasher Roundabout yellow hash ‘keep clear’ boxes upon exit and entrance to Ravenswood

The yellow ‘keep clear’ boxes at the exit and entrance to Nacton Road and Ravenswood will be re-painted in the correct position and made more distinct to drivers along Nacton Road.  This will hopefully aid exit and egress from Ravenswood.

At present we don’t have a date for this to be done.

Pedestrian traffic lights near to The Harvester Restaurant

We’ve asked SCC to look at the timing of pedestrian traffic lights as a few residents at the AGM were concerned the waiting time was too long, causing a traffic build up especially at peak times.  Sam Harvey confirmed she will ask for the timers to be checked.

 

 

 

Annual General Meeting held on 20th July 2016

Thank you to everyone who attended our Annual General Meeting on 20th July at Ravenswood Community Centre.  We were able to help with a number of issues and take others forward to our Action Group.

We were also pleased to welcome 3 new members to our Committee.

A huge thank you to Ben West who gave a very engaging and interesting insight into the work of the East Anglian Air Ambulance from a patient’s perspective.  
This essential service is not funded by Government but entirely by charity donations.  
With costs of £10M per year to keep the helicopters in the air they rely heavily on our donations.  
If you would like more information or to make a donation please visit https://www.eaaa.org.uk.

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