Planning constraints limit the height of buildings on the south bank of the Thames in central London, with the disadvantage that this height then becomes the norm. From the OXO Tower to Baltic Wharf a certain monotony prevails. Ipswich can do better and there is universal agreement that different heights produce interest and variety. The northern quays have for a long time been home to buildings ranging from the Tudor warehouses at Isaac Lord's to the taller silos which give the quayside a commercial feel.
A ring of tall buildings surrounds Ipswich town centre - from AXA and the Borough Council offices on Civic Drive through St Clare House, St Francis Tower and St Vincent House to the silos on the quayside and Civic College. There is commonality in the different heights however, most being not much more than eight storeys tall. More importantly, at this height they are not head and shoulders above their neighbours. In fact, those Ipswich tower blocks that do protrude the skyline (the maternity block at Heath Road Hospital and Cumberland Towers) would probably not be granted planning permission today.
I am sure that when these tall buildings were constructed they were welcomed as the new method of building for the future. But they were not architecturally attractive and they have got worse with age. It is very difficult and expensive to create quality tall buildings, and even then critics argue about their merit. Furthermore they deteriorate and are expensive to repair (Suffolk House in Civic Drive and the Civic Centre are both headaches for their owners). We are unlikely to get architecturally outstanding tall buildings in Ipswich and we should resist applications that pierce the skyline.