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Listed Buildings
of Ipswich Willis Building (Grade I)
   

Newsletter, January 2010 (Issue 178)

Planning Matters


'Shed 8' Orwell Quay, Ransomes Wharf, an application to erect 3 buildings incorporating a 90 bedroom hotel, 200 residential units, health club and spa, commercial office spaces, ground floor retail, new public space and basement car parking.

This is the third application from the owners and developers with the same architects. We await the architects' presentation with interest and will report further in due course.

Crown Street car park. As is well known 'concrete cancer' has recurred. Engineers have deemed the upper floors unsafe so it is to be reduced to two floors with 236 spaces. This is a loss of nearly 900 spaces. The season ticket holders have been moved to Portman Road and there has been a rash of applications for temporary car parks elsewhere. Few of these spaces will be available in December as we write and Ipswich Central indicates it may be the nail in some outlet's coffin. It's also a loss of £500.000 to the Borough and of course there will be the re-build cost, which might be insured, but probably not.

Mersea Homes' application to build up to 1,085 dwellings, etc "south of railway line, Westerfield Road" was described in the previous two Newsletters. The Council expected a huge turnout for the hearing so the Committee was held in the meeting room at lP-City which holds over 200 people. In the event I could identify less than twenty spectators. To the evident disgust of the developer and his team it was rejected with little debate. An appeal is widely expected. Ipswich School's application for a neighbouring site has been withdrawn.

St George's House, St Matthew's Street (see October Newsletter). The architects have presented a re-think of the application previously refused. They have addressed the points raised as to the façade to St Matthew's roundabout and the relationship of the mass to the Listed Grosvenor Hotel. The height has been lowered by a storey throughout. The proposed uses - hotel, very sheltered housing above retail units - remain unchanged, as do the unsatisfactory service arrangements. We shall be considering it further before replying.

The Mill, College Street: change of use of first 3 floors of car parking facilities to temporary public car park. The facts are: apartments approved 337, actually built 194, of which 149 are sold but only 78 occupied. Consequently the developers wish to let the public pay for 68 car park spaces, 7 am to 10 pm. Recommended for one year only and approved by mc.

Suffolk New College, application to build sports hall and 11 all-weather sports pitches. This is a joint scheme between the College and Goal Soccer Centres who have developed 34 similar centres. There will be wider community use in the future. Approved by IBC.

419 Norwich Road. The Food & Wine shop by the railway bridge installed a completely occlusive roller shutter, applied for retrospective planning permission, was refused, had this appeal rejected but has left the shutter in place. An Enforcement Order will be applied. It is essential that the planning process is seen to work and is applied. The Society's objection to roller shutters is not only that they are ugly but they increase insecurity through creating an anxiety ridden street scene and thus actually increase crime.

The Spinney, 108 Westerfield Road: this house, designed for his family's own use by the late Birkin Haward, has been Listed by English Heritage following a number of recommendations including our Society's.

MIKE COOK

    Front cover of issue 178 Cover, issue 178

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