Ipswich has relatively tight administrative boundaries and there are cross boundary issues that are relevant to the development and future of the Borough, the urban area of Ipswich and surrounding areas. This has long been recognised with the identification of the ‘Ipswich Policy Area’.
The area has now been extended and renamed as the Ipswich Strategic Planning Area (ISPA). The geography of the area now equates with the Ipswich Housing Market Area and the Ipswich Functional Economic Area, which both extend over the whole of Ipswich Borough, and Babergh, Mid Suffolk and Suffolk Coastal Districts.
An ISPA Board consisting of councillors and officers from Babergh, Mid Suffolk and Suffolk Coastal District Councils, Ipswich Borough Council and Suffolk County Council is a key vehicle for cross boundary planning in the ISPA.