Tesco, Grafton Way
The B & Q store has been demolished even though Tesco's application has
not yet been heard by the Borough's Planning and Development Committee. The
Society continues to object to the principle but I fear the town centre is
going to have to change (see my article in the October Newsletter). Tesco's
revised drawings were received on 6 December involving an increase in
the size of the retail store floor space by 640m sq (gross) to 9422m sq in
total (gross) and re-configuration of the building, access and parking
arrangements. Time has not permitted thorough examination of these latest
plans but at first sight the Society's objections will be reinforced!
Futura (former Crane's) site
The John Lewis/Waitrose stores opened on time on 8 November to huge
crowds. Parking marshals were employed but traffic was backed down Nacton
Road and to the A14 as predicted here but denied by the Highways Agency
and Suffolk County Council. The entrance from Nacton Road will be opened
as soon as possible; they are also considering bringing forward other
Section 106 highway improvements.
Ipswich Central has organised a modern Christmas tree and brand new
lights. There has been a 'Marmite' response -love it or loathe it! But
this is good publicity and together with a European market there has been
a sense of revival.
Former fire station site, Colchester Road
Planning permission has been granted to Hopkins Homes for 59 dwellings
including 25% social housing. The developers have agreed to several changes
to the design of the gable ends fronting Colchester Road and reduced their
height to conform to the roofline of the other houses after firm comments
by the Conservation and Design Panel. Many other desirable changes were
applied. Suffolk County Council requires a contribution of £388,000 for
education, libraries, waste, extra care housing and broadband.
Golden Key pub, Woodbridge Road
The Borough's Planning Committee refused conversion of this Greene King pub
because the Highways Agency stated that it would not be safe opening on to
Woodbridge Road at the Roundwood junction. The Planning Inspector allowed
the appeal with costs against IBC which were high because Greene King hired
expensive traffic consultants who refuted the Highways Agency's figures
with more figures. I wonder who pays - IBC or SCC? We don't know who the
operator of the small supermarket store will be. It is still open as a pub.
Land next to the Mermaid, Yarmouth Road
Marstons applied to build a 28 bed lodge hotel. The design was so plain,
shed-like and unappealing that the developers were asked to come back
with a more attractive design. It is worth noting that the hotel employs
nobody; cleaning and janitorial services are contracted out. Entry and
payment will all be conducted by credit cards.
16 Constitution Hill
An application for an extremely large mansion on the site of the Victorian
gardens of the Grade II* Listed 'Woodside' has been withdrawn. Apart from
the visual aspects of the design. its size would have impacted severely
on the green view from Valley Road.
'The Spinney', 108 Westerfield Road
This house designed for his family by Birkin Haward in 1960 was swiftly'
Spot Listed' by our former Conservation Officer, Bob Kindred, to save it
from demolition three years ago. Now Listed with great support from our
former Suffolk Twentieth Century Adviser and the Society, it has been
bought by a private buyer who wishes to carry out some updating. It has
generous glazing but of single thickness glass and a thin roof and largely
uninsulated walls. Appropriate changes have been designed which will have
minimal impact on its appearance.
Westbourne Library, Sherrington Road
Through the efforts of the Friends of Westbourne Library it has been
Listed Grade II. It was designed by the Borough Surveyor, E McLauchlan, as
an air raid shelter and gas decontamination centre and built in 1942. It
is a rare survivor of such a type of building with a tower perhaps once
used as a look out when it was a shelter, but a decontamination centre
typically had a water tank in a tower to serve the showers, eye douche and
boiler room. There would have been an air lock, undressing area, showers
and drying room. It was converted to a public library in 1946-7. (Editor:
from fear in war to love of books: great!)
It is also unusual in having Modernist decorations, like those of the
neighbouring Broomhill Pool, also designed by McLauchlan.
The Friends of Westbourne Library, led by Garath Jones, have done sterling
work in saving the library and setting up a credit union. Mark Ling. born
in Sherrington Road and Chairman of the Broomhill Pool Trust has driven
hard with councillors, the Borough and MPs to improve what has been an
under-resourced area. It seems their enthusiasm energy and persistence
is starting to payoff.