Ipswich Urban Character Supplementary Planning Documents

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In planning for growth in Ipswich, it is important to deliver high quality change which safeguards the best of the town’s character and secures positive improvements to the townscape. The Ipswich Urban Characterisation Studies were commenced in order to provide urban character analysis and guidance to areas outside of the town’s core which do not benefit from design guidance such as Conservation Area appraisals.

To this aim, the borough was divided into eight ‘urban character areas’, to explore areas where local distinctiveness could be identified to highlight the special interest of these areas and help inform new development. The adopted SPDs enable valued characteristics to be taken into account when changes affecting an area are proposed by way of a planning application and ensure that development and change reinforces local distinctiveness, as required by the National Planning Policy Framework and the adopted Core Strategy, and that it contributes to good design.

The Ipswich Urban Characterisation Study SPD provides guidance for developers and planners to use. It is based on character areas, which have been identified using factors such as historical character, topography, natural features and street types. It provides urban design analysis and information but not prescriptive advice about how development should be designed.

The map below shows the character areas identified in Ipswich. The borough has been identified by the following 8 Urban Character Areas: Norwich Road; Gipping and Orwell Valley; Parks; California; Chantry; Stoke Park and Maidenhall; North East; South East; Castle Hill, Whitehouse and Whitton.

Urban Character Studies

Previous consultation

The preparation of this SPD has been carried out over the course of 2014-2019.

The Council adopted the Ipswich Urban Characterisation Study SPD for Norwich Road; Gipping and Orwell Valley; Parks and California on 28 January 2015 following public consultation.

The Council adopted the Ipswich Urban Characterisation Study SPD for Chantry, Stoke Park and Maidenhall on 18 November 2015 following public consultation.

The final three Urban Characterisation Studies for North East, South East and Castle Hill, Whitehouse and Whitton were adopted by Ipswich Borough Council on 24 July 2019. Prior to adoption, the Council undertook a public consultation that ran for six weeks from Wednesday 16 January to Wednesday 27 February 2019. The comments the Council received are reproduced in the Consultation Statement together with the officers response indicating how the points raised have been issued through the SPD.

Adoption documents

The Consultation Statement below summarises the consultation that was undertaken during the preparation of the SPD, the comments received and the Council's responses, including any modifications made to the SPD. The Consultation Statement includes all three phases of public consultation carried out over the course of the preparation of the SPD between 2014 and 2019. The adoption statement provides information including a brief description of the subject matter of the SPD, where relevant documents are available for inspection and the timescale for legal challenge. A separate Adoption Statement is provided for the three phases of the preparation of the SPD between 2014 and 2019


Ipswich Borough Council would like to thank the individuals and organisations who assisted in the production of the Ipswich Urban Character Study SPD:

Dr Abby Antrobus, Juliet Aster, Bon Blastock, Su Heath (IBC), Chris Fish (SCC), Jill Freestone, David Kindred, Agnes Kummert (IBC), Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service, English Heritage, IBC Conservation and Design Panel, IBC Parks and Open Spaces, The Ipswich Society, Natural England, Over Stoke History Group, SCC Archaeological Service, SCC Highways, Wherstead Road Residents Association, The Woodland Trust.