These are some of the Society's comments during December, January and February on planning applications.
Co-operative Bank, 11-15 Princes Street; alterations to shop front including re-location of automated teller machine. "The facade of the bank is in two parts: to the north or left a neo-classical with fine windows. Into this it is proposed to insert an ATM thus destroying one window.... This is an important street in the Central Conservation Area and such changes must be resisted."
Christchurch Park management buildings and multi-function hall: "the Society supports these developments. Clearly there are some aspects with which we are not entirely happy: the size of the toilets to serve both the educational part of the buildings and the needs of park visitors seems inadequate. Additionally the space within seems somewhat ambiguously divided between education and service. However in general we like the design and hope it is a worthy Millennial contribution to a great park."
Christchurch Park, new pavilion in Lower Arboretum area, housing new public lavatories and office/kiosk for wildlife ranger. "We are delighted to see this exciting proposal ... We hope that it can remain 'wire-less' and congratulate the architects on their environmentally friendly design. Our only concern is that the photo-voltaic cell on the wind turbine mast seems on the plans .... to be unduly prominent."
Christchurch Park, cabman's shelter. "We are delighted to see that the shelter is to be restored fully in the near future. As to its position ... it would be near the Westerfield Road entrance where there is little shelter from the elements but is overlooked by passers-by and the nearby houses so that misuse and vandalism should be lessened."
Burton Son and Sanders site, College Street, proposed car park. "the Executive Committee has discussed this application and feel strongly that permission should be refused on the following grounds:
It is contradictory to build Park & Ride schemes on the outskirts of the town and then give permission to increase car parking notjust in the town centre but in the middle of our most knotty traffic problem.
Granting the application even for a shorter period merely encourages the owners to delay formulating a proper use of this historic site.
Under no circumstances should advertising hoardings be allowed. Apart from aesthetic considerations, drivers shouldn't have to contend with any more distractions."
37-41 Butter Market, new shopfront and alterations. "It is sad that Preston and Lockwood can no longer afford to run one of Ipswich's older institutions as a jewellers' shop and propose to take over Lawley's china shop. Their proposals for the exterior are frankly unacceptable and this application must be refused. It is a situation which we would hope the Officers might be able to resolve by persuading the company to use an architect appropriate to altering a shop front opposite a Grade I building."
Land rear of 29-37 Vermont Crescent. "This plot has already received outline permission for five bungalows and the site is clearly suitable for residential development, especially as it is a brownf ield site (mostly a fly rubbish tip) ten minutes walk from the town centre. However ... Access is going to be difficult, particularly during construction ... The height of the houses should be restricted by lowering the pitch of the roofs to avoid impinging on their neighbours' views ... This is one of those all too common situations where a better planning outcome could be obtained if a developer were to approach the owners of an adjacent plot. The Ipswich Co-operative's funeral memorial yard has an access southwards to Suffolk Road. A combined development would allow a larger number of dwellings, solve the drainage problems and prevent overloading Vermont Crescent and Vermont Road."
166 Rushmere Road, proposed wind turbine. It is we believe the first application in the Borough for a private wind turbine. The amount of electricity it would produce is small - about enough for around eight bulbs for a working day. However this must not be entirely dismissed as it will be making some contribution to reducing carbon dioxide production. If we look back over the last 50 years, the planning authorities would have been tougher from the outset on the visual pollution that television aerials, overhead wires, satellite dishes, mobile phone masts and traffic signs cause to the urban street scene. Development control committees are critical in preventing these items intruding into the public view.
We therefore feel that, whilst allowing such developments out of the public view and not being intrusive in a residential area, a mast height of 10.5m and a blade length of 1.6m would be excessive, being visible over the roof line and causing wind noise. We think that the Officers should draw up guidance as to size of blade, height of mast and number of people it might affect .... It is important not to set precedents that would allow undue developments in residential areas and also to allow installations in other zones." [IBC has refused permission]
NCP car park, 11 St George's Street, proposed erection of 38 flats. Our comments appeared in the January Newsletter. There has been considerable discussion between the Borough planning officers and the developers who have submitted a further set of plans. Further comment will be necessary.