St Clement's Hospital site
The redevelopers of St Clement's Hospital site proposed 4.5% of the application (for 227 units) for affordable housing, that is 10 houses. This contrasts with Ipswich Borough Council's gold standard of 35% for affordable housing. An offer from the developer of £180,000 falls well short of an IBC calculation of £1,500,000 for Section 106 works (focused on site specific mitigation of the impact of development). This is about an eighth of what is required; apparently the two sides could not come to an agreement and the application has been withdrawn.
4 College Street
The attractive 16th century cottage, 4 College Street (opposite St Peters Gate), looks set to be restored into two flats for market rental. In future there will be separate, new affordable development on the site-, which is currently a car park. We await the revival of the Republic of Ireland's economic status before the majority of the unfinished waterfront conversions and new build can be completed.
Much time has been spent considering the application for a single giant wind turbine at Pannington Hall. At 130 metres blade tip on a 42 metre knoll next to Jimmy's Farm, it would be, at 172 metres (569 feet). The Mill is 71 metres high and the bridge 50 metres above the Orwell. It would be visible all over Ipswich. As a Society for Ipswich Borough, we felt we could only object to its visual impact on Ipswich. Thus, we have written a strong letter of objection to Babergh District Council, the responsible planning authority, (as has our sister organisation The Suffolk Preservation Society) and given moral support to the Stop Ipswich Turbine group (SIT) - who are running a text-book example of how to object. The application was put before the Ipswich Planning and Development Committee which voted that it was a strong visual intrusion into south-west Ipswich and recommended that it should be refused. Babergh has received 700 letters of objection. The hearing will not take place for a couple of months.
English Heritage have written a strong letter saying that the concept of a large house in the kitchen garden of Woodside, 16 Constitution Hill would be deleterious to this fine Grade II* mid-Victorian grand house, the Conservation Area and is against the National Planning Policy Framework. This was similar to the views of the Conservation and Design Panel. The Planning Officers' recommendation was for refusal. In the light of this, the application was withdrawn at the very last moment. I feel sure there will be a further application.
St Alban's School
An application for a new sixth form block at St Alban's Roman Catholic School to expand the size of the sixth form by 62 places has been approved. Most of the students will be in the school already and hence there should not be much increase in traffic. The building, invisible to the public will be three storeys high, of buff brick and handsome. It does not fulfil the BREEAM§ requirements but because it is nearly there and the cost of "excellent" would be £100,000 which would have to be funded by the school, not the Department for Education, and the small increase in traffic, it has been approved. The architect is Craig Driver of Hoopers.
It is encouraging that there have been 1,106 planning applications registered in the last twelve months compared with 1,001 in the previous year. The shoots of the economic revival are showing not least in the number of intermediate size housing proposals and some commercial movements apart from hand car-washes and coffee shops.
A proposal for a small car park on the unused island site opposite the Novotel has been refused.
We have written replies to IBC's two major current planning consultations, The Ipswich Garden Suburb (aka Northern Fringe Development) and the draft Core Strategy, Development Plan Focussed Review and Site Draft Allocations.
§BREEAM: Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology