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Strategic Outline Business Case (SOBC)

The publishing of The Strategic Outline Business Case (SOBC) represents the completion of the first phase of the Ipswich Northern Route Project.

Whilst the SOBC suggests that there is a case for proceeding with phase 2 of the project, There are other factors and issues which will need clarification from district and borough councils before any decision can be made.

Suffolk County Council (SCC) has made it clear that the Ipswich Northern Route is a collaborative project. In order for the county council, as the Transport Authority for Suffolk, to be in a position to determine if this project can reasonably and realistically proceed to the next phase of development, SCC will need to consider the following issues alongside wider consideration of the SOBC:

  1. The way Government allocates funding for road projects has evolved since 2016 and there is now a need to provide not only a compelling business case for the road itself, but also show how the road will enable or support additional housing growth. Clearly this need for additional housing falls under the remit of district and borough councils. Therefore, in order to decide whether this project should proceed further, SCC as the Transport Authority for Suffolk, will need clarity on the willingness and ability of district and borough councils to deliver such growth, beyond that already committed to in their respective local plans.
  2. Widespread political support, both at a national and local level, to proceed to the next stage. Factoring in the levels of public support and any local changes to the political landscape as a result of the May 2019 and December 2019 elections.
  3. A petition received from the STOP! Campaign, which is against the project is scheduled to be responded to by a meeting of the full Suffolk County Council on the 13th February.
  4. Serious consideration of the climate emergency declared in 2019.

A paper will be presented to a meeting of The Cabinet to consider next steps on 25th February 2020.