All around central Ipswich information monoliths have now been
installed. These are high quality street plans with sites of interest
added, walking directions and other information. They will replace
all other street information in due course and are downloadable
to your smart phone. The company responsible is internationally
regarded; the results look excellent.
One of Civic Voice's continuing national campaigns is for individual
societies to become active in getting clutter - unwanted, unused
and unnecessary signs - off our streets. Here in Ipswich, the
Conservation Panel is carrying out surveys which IBC's Head of
Conservation is leading, together with an enthusiastic Highways
Officer. Furthermore there is a budget, so that a remarkable
number of signs will in due course be removed.
The Government has issued a policy statement which should allow
traffic signage of all types to be employed in a more sensible and
less bureaucratic style so that street clutter should no longer be
created. Clearly safety must still be paramount but exercised by
common sense rather than blind application of the Department of
Proposed new music centre, Ipswich School
After the initial refusal the School, using the same architects expert
in such structures, has come back with a modified design that does
answer some of the critics, particularly local residents' worries.
The mass has been reduced by dropping the building 0.5m below
ground, the percussion practice rooms and plant rooms have
been placed in a basement, there are no windows opening on the
west elevation, and the roofline has been lowered. By moving the
building 2.5m to the east and slanting it in line with Holly Road, the
yew tree will be saved. However, aesthetically it's not a coherent
nor exciting building and of a large mass. Further, there remain
considerable concerns about traffic generation and parking around
events. The School needs to provide a satisfactory travel plan which
is adhered to and do some public relations work with its neighbours
Alexander House, St Matthew's Street
This is on the Local List and has been afforded some protection in
that the Conservation Panel has put forward opinions on proposals
for alterations and has successfully had the various proposals
improved. The owners now wish to add a second additional storey,
again zinc-clad but with odd fenestration consisting of small
portholes. Plumbers, installing the outlets of the students' rooms'
condensing boilers have peppered the walls in a destructive pattern
to the ordered neo-classicism of the original 1840 building. This
would add further indignities.
This has now received Royal Assent. Some key changes therefore
Regional Strategic Spatial Surveys are abolished so that the factual
basis for regional strategic planning is to be ignored and all plans
will be local to a specific local planning authority. Neighbourhood
Forums now have the powers to produce plans for the future.
The Independent Infrastructure Planning Commission is abolished.
Its place is taken by a similarly titled group within the Department
of Local Government.