I attended a six hour Master Planning exercise mounted by the
agents for the developers, David Lock Associates. Approximately 45 people
were present. After the DLA lead made it clear that, despite the objections,
the development would go ahead and we would not be discussing anything but
the details of the development, she went on to describe the site and what
would eventually be there. We were taken by bus on a tour around the
perimeter of the site as access for a large group to the interior is not
practicable. We learned about its boundaries, its topography, its gentle
rises and the railway route. We also looked at possible access points.
After the inspection of the waving cereal in the field on Henley Road beyond
the railway, I got the sense that pretty well all the party felt this would
be a real loss of a fine piece of agricultural land and a loss of green belt.
After lunch, we divided into six groups. We fell to planning what we had
previously decided was desirable using the plan of the site and different
coloured tiles representing the different uses. The morning group discussion
had decided on a huge wish list - one railway bridge, 4,000 dwellings (none
more than three storeys high), spaces for two cars, three primary schools,
one secondary school, a health centre, a sports ground. a community centre
with a hall, a district shopping centre, a country park, a circular bus route
using access points from Henley Road and Westerfield Road (but not Valley
Road), a pedestrian and cycle route from north to south through the entire
development and continuing south to Ipswich town centre. The groups produced
their plans; of course the wish list was so long it was nigh on impossible to
fit them all in. More importantly, if all were to be included in the Section
it would be unviable. DLA have gone away to absorb all the ideas and
consider the plans. In general terms, the proposals and criteria set by the
groups do fulfil all the Society would like to see if it takes place to its
full extent. My fear is that without public money. no developer will commit
to such an expensive scheme and a smaller one will be pushed through by
Tesco, Grafton Way
This re-application is considerably changed for the better
as it is much smaller. There is only a food store which is 35% smaller.
plus ten other retail units, 16 four-bed town houses with south facing roof
terraces overlooking the river, two hotels. 455 parking spaces and 164 cycle
spaces. The development will be connected to Princes Street Bridge by a
walkway. As part of the transport plan, the Novotel gyratory system will be
changed to a single north- south oblong roundabout. Six crossing points and
their traffic lights will control flow of all users. Two new bus stops will
be provided in Grafton Way. But the Society is still concerned and is making
- It will have a footfall effect on the town centre.
parking regulations must be drawn up, as tight regulations are possible and
- The transport plan includes two bus stops and mention of the
new circular bus service. A condition must be that this service is running
on opening day and every day thereafter.
- We are unhappy with the
architecture of the town houses.
- We shall look more closely at the
walkway to Princes Street and make comment.
Crane's site, Nacton Road, now re-named Futura
In the original planning
application the large site opposite the John Lewis development was to be a
DIY or bulky goods store. Unsurprisingly, since all the usual suspects are
well accommodated already, they have had to re-jig the lessees to furniture,
soft furnishings and a couple of coffee shops. Yet again these retailers
will reduce the town centre.
Premier Inn, Key Street
When permission was granted in 2005 for the
construction of a hotel on this island site between Star Lane and Key Street
the cladding was to be 'eternit' panels and aluminium windows. The hotel is
now to be a Premier Inn and so a change to their brand of purple render and
Danehill yellow bricks has been applied for. There were some IBC objections
to this colour in a Conservation Area with many Listed buildings nearby, most
notably the Grade II* Custom House. The Conservation Advisory Panel was not
convinced the Premier Inn purple render was so inappropriate.
Waterfront Area parking
Enforcement notices are being served on car park
operators to ensure that they comply with their planning conditions, so that
wasteland is not used for general car parking and that all- day parking at
low rates does not creep in. These are increasing commuter car traffic.
75 Valley Road
This application is for a 3-bedroom house in the owner's large
back garden. A planning inspector commenting on a neighbouring proposal in
2005 allowed the building of annexes but said that the area is within a green
corridor [a continuation of Broom hill Park] on the Local Plan and the
building of a house here would set a precedent out of character with the
area. The Society agrees and has written to IBC accordingly.
Buttermarket Shopping Centre
The proposal is for a 9-screen cinema of 1350
seats capacity over three floors to be run by Vue, a well-established chain.
There will also be six new 'family' restaurants. Currently the Centre has a
50% floor area occupancy. This is a major change from retail to leisure.