1. The Ipswich Society is pleased that Turnstone are keen to develop the
whole potential Westgate site, i.e. including the former court building
and the police station. Planning for this whole block must determine the
planning of these present limited proposals. 'Making the best of it
later' will not produce the quality of development we would expect for
this important site.
2. The concept of an arena demands imaginative planning to create an
attractive and useful facility and so avoid the risk of its becoming a
concrete desert frequented by undesirables! The ventilation shaft of the
spiral car park could be made into a striking feature with well designed
(computer controlled?) vertically inserted lighting.
3. We recognise that the provision of retail space is the key to the
whole project as seen by the developers. Yet this is the most
controversial aspect and it is difficult to foresee what it should
consist of and what its effect would be on the viability of existing
town centre shopping, which we are very concerned about. But in any case
we advocate a high quality development which would enhance the appeal of
Ipswich town centre as a whole, bringing more people into Ipswich for
their whole range of shopping in both the new and the older shops. This
might suggest a good quality department store in view of its very large
proposed size and multi-storey nature. This major building especially
must be attractive and not a large expanse of zinc cladding.
4. The proximity of so many local bus services in Civic Drive and St
Matthew's Street and the Park and Ride services nearby make this
development admirably less dependent on private cars. However the use of
cars will greatly increase here and therefore the access for cars and
provision for parking will demand precise and thoughtful planning. Civic
Drive is quite short and a traffic build-up would be very unpopular with
both through-traffic and motorists using the Westgate Centre.
Attractive landscaping is essential in making this a desirable place to
The fall of the land towards the south should be made a landscaping
The New Wolsey Theatre needs more space around it, and because loud
noises can easily be heard inside the Theatre it should be understood
from the outset that any events in the arena must be co-ordinated with
We are unsure about the location of the proposed restaurant next to the
arena. Perhaps that could be located better in 'Retail Space A near the
Theatre to have some synergy with theatre-going. In any case, we would
not want to see a fast food outlet next to Civic Drive.
Historic Lady Lane is the main pedestrian access to the Westgate Centre.
This needs very careful treatment to make it welcoming, and from here
the first sighting of the vast new buildings of 'Retail B' should be an
attraction rather than a cliff face!