Ipswich Borough Council have announced that they are joining Suffolk County Council in a bid to bring proposed Investment Zones to Ipswich. Sites at Eastern Gateway (Sproughton), Hadleigh Road, Seven Hills and Copdock have been identified. Investment Zones are controversial as they will include both residential and commercial areas with far fewer planning controls and vastly reduced environmental contributions. Commercial operators will not pay commercial rates, will have reduced national insurance contributions and will be given big tax allowances.
Councillor Oliver Holmes feels that the new zones will add more complexity to existing incentives such as Enterprise Zones and the new Freeport East. "Additionally, the evidence of freeports and enterprise zones has shown they relocate business rather than attract new ventures that would grow the local economy. The promised employment opportunities rarely arise and when they do, are often low-wage and low-skill. Given the environmental damage the uncontrolled new building will bring, you have to question the benefits of such development to Ipswich."