...it's our town

Listed Buildings
of Ipswich Unitarian Meeting House (Grade I)

Newsletter, January 2005 (Issue 158)

Major Planning Matters

These are some of the Society's responses to planning applications and IBC's decisions where known.

Eagle Mill, Helena Road: development comprising 566 residential units over 9 blocks with a typical height of 8 storeys and a tower of 14 storeys on south-west corner. Proposal includes visitor centre, doctors'surgery and community performance space and new vehicular access.
"This huge development has been discussed by the Executive Committee of the Society; we welcome it and most aspects of the high quality of architecture. We think the deep U shape of the main block and the enclosed open area with the flight of steps is very exciting. The public building and performance area facing the Wet Dock is innovative and we look forward to seeing it in use.

"The only part of the plans to which we take exception is the rectangular tower block (50 metres high) at the south-west end on Helena Road. We felt the external appearance to be very retrospective. It seemed to hark back to buildings of the sixties in Ipswich which are going to be demolished. Further, architecturally it seemed quite different to the remainder of the proposals. Clearly a radical rethink is needed for this part. Otherwise we congratulate the developers and the architects on the scheme."

Land bounded by Cardinal Street and Wolsey Street, Franciscan Way: erection of 50 two-bedroomed apartments in 5 storey block
"This is a very sensitive area with two Grade I and Grade II buildings in close proxirmity. The Planning Committee should therefore expect an outstanding building. This is by no means so and thus we would ask the Committee to reject it."

[IBC has granted permission. The Development Control Committee thought it was a good building and could even have been higher.]

Kennings, Duke Street: proposal for a 5- and 6-storey mixed commercial/residential development
"This proposal has some attractive features but it is over-development on this site. The Duke Street faqade has no coherent rhythm and the details of the roofing surely need to be improved. The trouble with allowing a very large building on one side of a street is that developers have every reason to expect to be allowed to build as large on the opposite side, thus creating a canyon effect. This attempt should be refused."

2-8 Fore Street: internal and external alterations including demolition of No 2 Fore Street warehouse to rear and erection of 2.5 storey building and works to 10-14 Orwell Place (ex-Martin & Newby's)
"The Society, whilst sad to see the demise of Martin & Newby, is pleased that the new development includes 5 shops as well as the now usual apartments. We also note the minimal parking provision with approval. The Council officers are working hard to ensure the retention of several interesting Georgian features (fireplaces, staircase and wine cellar) as well as an archaeological survey. Assuming the details are satisfactory, permission could be granted."

Ipswich Sports Club, Henley Road: installation of 8 flood lighting columns to illuminate all-weather hockey pitch.
"This application needs to be refused as it will cause two sorts of pollution in a quiet residential area. When the majority of these houses were built and purchased the Sports Club was small and quiet; now it has grown to have the presence of the Ipswich Hockey Clubs, both nationally important and well supported. They will create light, noise from the crowds and from their cars leaving in the late evening. To have this in one's back garden is insupportable in planning terms."

[IBC refused permission on grounds of ugliness of columns, noise pollution, light pollution and inappropriate use in residential area.]

ALBION MILL: (formerly Pauls),College St.
This was a presentation prior to a formal planning application when ready. The Society's letter was addressed to the developers. "Thank you for inviting us to attend your presentation. In general terms we were happy with your general proposals for the site but we feel that a lot more thought needs to go into key areas.

  1. The corridor of view is not big. On the quayside elevation it forms what appears to be a 10 metre square opening. This is clearly unsatisfactory; the idea is excellent but needs review.
  2. We are unhappy with the arrangement of the massing.
  3. The presence of 23 storeys on the next site should not encourage you to build any higher than the current hideous concrete silo.
  4. We need to look at the security arrangements. The Society is totally opposed to enclosed and gated communities. They must be avoided by design.
  5. The Society recommends the inclusion of an Arts Cinema as the major need. We would be delighted to make the case for this separately."

The outcome of previous planning applications:

Water tower, reservoir, Park Road: installation of antennae, etc.
IBC refused permission and the applicants have appealed against this decision. The Society has written to the Planning Inspectorate in Bristol repeating our original objections. All apparatus was to have been installed behind a fibre-glass screen but this has not been adhered to and the tower has become an unsightly mass of straggly poles, wires and panels.

67 Westgate Street: retention of shutters.
Society objections but IBC approved it.

Crown Pools: new car park on existing lawn.
The Society recommended refusal. IBC granted permission but the new IBC coalition Council has decided to postpone building it.

    Front cover of issue 158 Cover, issue 158

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