The sheer scale and importance of these proposals mean that the Society has
responded at some length. We feel sure that members will be interested to
see quite a lot of what we've said.
"The Ipswich Society would like to congratulate the architect and developer,
and IBC's planning officers, EEDA, the Arts Council and CABE in producing
and shaping such an exciting and comprehensive set of proposals for the
Waterfront .... It is not our intention to compromise the commercial
viability of the scheme, rather to constructively suggest what is, and in
our considered opinion, what is not acceptable in Ipswich. The proposed
development is in a Conservation Area, will have an impact on Listed
buildings including St Mary at Quay Church and should therefore have
sympathy with its neighbours, particularly in terms of height, scale and
We then make brief comments on the two areas north of Key Street, those
around St Mary at Quay Church. One would include a public open space at the
east end of the church. The other area, further east, could include a hotel
where we would be concerned about car parking. We also express concerns
about pedestrian access to the Waterfront from these two areas.
Going on to the proposals for the main Cranfield's Mill site, we say:
"The Ipswich Society is impressed with the quality and variety of materials
proposed and the mixed uses planned. We particularly like the piazza and the
opportunity afforded to businesses to face both externally on to the
Waterfront and internally on to the square ... The retention of the
colonnades is to be applauded and they will provide a focal point for
lunchtime and evening activity ... We don't agree with the retention of the
railway tracks. They are a health and safety hazard ... and in our opinion
are nostalgia taken too far.
"The architect is keen to allow vehicles along the quayside, suggesting that
they bring people, light and movement, reducing crime and anti-social
behaviour. The Ipswich Society takes a different stance and believes it is
very important to reduce vehicles on the quayside, limiting access for
deliveries during the working day. This will allow a cafe culture to develop
alfresco dining, particularly under the colonnades The
architect is proposing some modern
and novel materials for the apartments fronting the piazza and after some
discussion we applaud his choice...
"We are opposed to a 23 storey tower, and have further concerns about the
scale of the 17 and 14 storey supporting structures in Foundry Lane. We feel
that for this context a maximum height close to that of the existing silos
is appropriate. Even if the proposed heights are reduced the fenestration is
unsatisfactory and we would like to see alternative proposals ... Members
have expressed to us spontaneously similar views in unequivocal terms.
Previously several applications for buildings taller than the existing silos
have been refused, including proposals for Paul's burnt-out maltings site,
and the initial proposals for the Burton's site. We accept that each
application should be reviewed on its merits and that the Waterfront can
accept tall buildings, particularly adjacent to open water but believe that
this proposal is too high. It should also be noted that the tower is not
adjacent to an open aspect, rather the narrow neck of water at the extreme
western end of the dock.
"It is important to consider the impact of the proposed heights from
viewpoints in other parts of the town, from where the tower will draw the
eye ... There is a certain ambience of the treelined horizon viewed from
almost anywhere in Ipswich, and existing buildings, with very few
exceptions, do not break the skyline, a townscape scale we can live with and
"Wharfeside's proposals will create a massive development that has the
potential to truly link the town centre and Waterfront ... In principle the
scheme should progress. However, some of the details, and in particular the
height of the taller buildings, need modification."