50 Russet Road (old Driving Test Centre, Woodbridge Road).  After deferment for a site visit to assess the roads and access, the much needed Special Educational Needs School for 60 students has received planning permission.

69 Constable Road.  The proposal is to build a modern, highly sustainable near-passivhaus on the tennis court of no 69.  Access requires the demolition of the existing garage.  The Society is not keen on back garden development in Article 4d Conservation areas, however in this case there is the space.

Albion Wharf.  Brewdog, a Scottish Brewery, has applied to convert the ground floor space of Albion Wharf (next door to the Maritime Trust’s Exhibition window) into a pub.  The beer house will have over 120 seats on the ground floor, 97 on the mezzanine and possibly 76 outside on the quay.  So it is likely there could be more than three hundred revellers on and around the premises.  The residents of the apartments above are vocal in their opposition with at least 25 objecting to the proposal.  The police are objecting on the grounds of lack of detail and have supplied a long list of conditions which must be fulfilled.  In planning terms there is nothing to object to in the application. The Licensing Committee Meeting for December 9, 2021 was postponed so we don't yet know the outcome.

28 St Matthews Street.  The site is the car park for the very popular Turkish supermarket (previously Blockbusters) in Berners Street.  The proposal is to erect a three storey building over the car park, the latter hidden behind a perforated wall.  The first and second storeys will have eight one or two person flats; a two bedroom flat on the third floor is set back from the building line.  KLH architects have proposed a typical modern style which is intended to blend into the conservation area.  In our opinion the top storey is a step too far and increases the canyon like feel of lower Berners Street.  Whilst we would support dwellings on this site the developer and their architects need to reappraise their proposal.

21 Upper Brook Street (the former Billiards Hall hidden behind the shops).  After deferment, a much improved 16 bedroom, three storey building (which now includes accommodation for an on-site manager) has been granted planning permission.  

Dove Street / Rope Walk.  A four storey building, similar to the newly completed one on the adjacent corner, recently completed for Suffolk New College has been approved.

18 Badgers Bank.  The proposal is to demolish the existing house which has suffered major subsidence and replace with a modern, sustainable, two storey building in brick with a zinc roof and solar panels.  It differs architecturally, from its neighbours – 1970s boxes by Costain which are on a steeply sloping site but offer nothing in the way of architectural merit.

42 Marlborough Road is in an Article 4 Conservation Area.  The proposal is to demolish a 1950s gabled single garage and replace it with a hipped roof double garage to mirror the one at number 44.  The red brick boundary wall would be rebuilt.

The Golden Goose (formerly The Ship Launch PH).  Since the pub closed it has had a brief life as a Chinese restaurant.  Built in 1850 to serve the dockers, ship-builders and sailors as well as Cobbold’s brewery workers it has distinctive architectural features.  This proposal, by Last and Tricker with good professional support, is to convert the main building into four upside down apartments and turn an outbuilding into a fifth.  Once again, however, it is packing too many apartments into too small a space.

1 Kettlebaston Way. Victoria Nursery will stay until for Christmas 2022 so Christmas trees are safe for another year.  The previous application (for a care home) was refused, the building was oversized for the site, and there was not enough car parking.  This latest application moves the building to the south-east corner of the site so there is less overlooking.  The ridge line has been lowered, the pitch angle increased and the trees on the south east corner retained.  Car park spaces have increased from 26 to 30, plus one disabled.  These changes are for the better but it remains a large building. 

10 Westgate Street.  Most recently a shoe shop, Office, this ‘change of use’ application is  for yet another coffee shop: Starbucks.

2 St Margarets Plain.  On the corner of Northgate Street is an important Grade II listed medieval building currently being converted from Alexandria hairdressing salon into three ground floor retail units, two one bed flats on the first floor and two studios on the second floor.  An assessment report by Leigh Ashton complete with maps, photographs, and extensive descriptions makes for fascinating reading.  I have spoken to the enthusiastic owner-entrepreneur and I am reassured that all is in order.

Ipswich Garden Suburb Country Park has been brought forward by new funding from the government.  It will be slightly larger in area than Christchurch Park, so these proposals need careful consideration and review.

1-4 & 3-4 Lower Brook Street Mews.  The conversion of an existing office with a new building adjacent, both by Martin Last, to create 14 single person accommodation units.  The drawings show each with a double bed so occupancy could exceed expectations and so the proposal was refused.

32 Broughton Road.  The proposed front extensions to this 1930s detached residence at the top of Broughton Road was refused and the committee’s decision has been upheld on appeal.

Ipswich Sports Club, Henley Road.  In 2018, permission was granted to build 28 detached houses on the artificial hockey pitch.  This new proposal is for a less dense development with somewhat larger houses, accessed by an improved approach from Henley Road.  An unusual part of the application is the presence of the Financial Viability Report in the public domain.  It makes the case that it is unviable to have more than two dwellings for affordable rent.  This claim will be assessed by independent experts on behalf of Ipswich Borough Council.

6 Silent Street.  The owner has been successfully prosecuted for unauthorized work to a Grade II listed building.  This application concerns the mitigation of those works, internal repairs to lath and plaster work (particularly first floor ceilings) a new parapet, and two new flat roofs.  The Heritage Statement, by KLH, is comprehensive and is worth reading.  Ipswich Building Preservation Trust seriously considered purchasing the building from Suffolk CC in the late 1970s but the feasibility study advised against.

The Head of Development Control, stated during the October meeting of the Planning and Development Committee, that under the latest version of the Local Plan, Ipswich has demonstrated an adequate supply of housing for the next five years.  Windfall sites, predicted in the Plan at 50 a year, are coming forward at 75 annually.  It’s been assisted by the recent conversion of offices to small apartments.  This is excellent news as now developers will no longer be able to say that permission has to be granted for this application for dwellings because the Borough cannot demonstrate a five year supply of housing.

Henley Gate Community Liaison Group.  On behalf of the Society, I attended the first meeting, by Zoom, in November.  Virtually all the attendees were councillors.  Most concern was raised over the access being formed on Henley Gate and the associated residents’ disturbance.  I raised concerns over hedgerows and cycle access.  I was reassured as to the former but received an anodyne managerial reply on the latter.  The next meeting, possibly in person, is in mid-January.  If you have a question please contact me.    

Mike Cook

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