39 Princes Street. In 2019 a one storey upward extension to provide three bedrooms on the fourth floor was approved. This application for a further upward extension will provide space for four more two bedroom flats. The addition of a Mansard story to Century House will be detrimental to it and to the surrounding buildings, all of merit, notably the Willis building. CGIs and photomontages are notoriously liable to give the viewer a false impression of what will be the final build; we feel that enough is enough and this should be refused.

Victoria Nursery site, Westerfield Road. The application to build a large care home was strongly objected to by many neighbours as being too high and with inadequate parking. It has been withdrawn by the developers; no reason has been given publicly.

Websters Sale Yard, Dock Street. A large, luxurious and spacious four bedroom home with all the 21st century extras. It occupies a prominent view to all on the Waterfront. Whilst the east elevation looking towards the Wet Dock is fine, incorporating as it does the historic and important ‘EDWARD FISON’ sign (perhaps as the result of the Conservation & Design Panel’s comments on the previous application) but the north elevation, which will be seen by all who promenade along St Peters Wharf and have coffee at the Jerwood Dance House, is most unsatisfactory. The windows seem ill-proportioned and too close together; additionally, a simpler palette, preferably of Suffolk reds would be best for all the visible walls. We would also like to have seen solar panels/tiles on the south side. Tight archaeological conditions on this, the most important Anglo-Saxon site in Gippeswic, should be imposed.

Co-op buildings, Carr Street (no app or preapp). The five buildings on the east side of the northern end of Carr Street have for, over a century, been the go-to centre for every need. They have been standing deserted for a decade. Whilst none are nationally listed, two are on the Local List and, with their motto, form part of the folk memory of Ipswichians. It has been known for some time that the Department for Education (DfE) were supporting the proposal of Active Learning Trust (ALT) to SCC’s education department to build a new primary school to serve the young residential population of the town centre. (ALT now has 21schools in the east of England including Sidegate, Hillside and Gusford, plus Chantry Academy in Ipswich). Facading would be expensive and the DfE would not pay for it and, indeed, it couldn’t be incorporated into a modern primary school so all the Co-op buildings east of Cox Lane will be demolished and replaced by a two- storey, 230 place primary school. The main entrance would be from Carr Street with a drop-off point in what is now the Co-op car park. There would be a Multi Use Games Area (MUGA) on the roof. The lettering from the Co-op would be retained and put on the school’s facade. No mention has been made of the rear mosaic but we assured it will be retained somewhere.

There has been an exceptionally unanimous rejection to the proposed plans. They do not meet current DfE’s requirements; shoe-horned on to a small site, it is inappropriately placed on Carr Street and the designs for the retention of the artefacts are poor. It is widely felt that the new primary school (being necessary) should be on another part of the ‘Mint Quarter’ site but only after there has been produced a new master plan for the area.

IBC Whitton Builders Depot. The unused depot in Whitton Church Lane will be the site of eight modular modern self-contained units for the homeless. The 27 square metre units exceed, in most respects, building regulations and are designed to be consumer safe. All services are connected, heating by air source heat pumps; 4 bicycle and 3 car park spaces provided. This scheme is part of a charity initiative by the housebuilder, Hill, to provide 200 modules for the homeless throughout south east England. There have been some thirty local objections, but Suffolk Constabulary removed their objections to this proposal in the light of an improved management plan. Planning permission was granted.

St Matthews Street. Construction of a four storey building above two retail units next door to the empty QD shop. Seven self-contained one bed room apartments (50 square metres). Covered cycle storage but no car spaces. Permission for 4 apartments was given in 2019 for a similar design by KLH architects.

Anglesea Heights former BUPA care home. Ipswich School bought the entire site some time ago. BUPA demolished the unlisted parts of Anglesey Road Wing Hospital and replaced them with four purpose-built 30 bedded units. Bourne House is the most westerly and faces onto Anglesea Road. Being the closest to the nursery part of the school, with only small internal changes, it will become a useful extension to its facilities. The rest of the site remains unaffected.

Haven House, Lower Brook Street. Under the latest 2020 regulations a developer merely has to inform the LPA that he is going to convert an office building to residential use. So seventy-five single bed apartments will be installed with eighteen car parking spaces.

Endeavour House. Suffolk County Council is applying to erect two flag poles on the entrance plaza!

37 Upper Orwell Street. Developers notice of conversion of retail units to dwellings i.e. small apartments under the new regulations.

17 Foxhall Road. A mid-Victorian semi, with a small ground floor extension at the rear will become an HMO (House of Multiple Occupation) for eight singletons with a communal kitchen, living and dining rooms, three shower rooms and five WCs. We hope the officers can find some method to limit such developments.

At the Planning and Development Committee on February 12th, Crest Nicholson were given permission to go ahead with the country park in the Ipswich Garden suburb. This will be a major bonus for the town; it's marginally bigger than Christchurch  Park and will be much wilder. Ipswich Parks Department have had a major input,with Suffolk Wildlife Trust and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, into its planning and will manage it for at least the next 15 years. I note that central government has granted £4.5 million towards the costs.

On behalf of the Society, I have completed the questionnaire from the Department of Local Government on permitted development for the change of use from ‘commercial, business and service’ use to ‘residential’ to create new homes, measures to support public service infrastructure through the planning system, and the approach to simplifying and consolidating existing permitted development rights following changes to the Use Classes Order. Our Chair submitted a narrative reply. We are, of course, strongly opposed. These are extremely serious proposed changes to the planning system and will give much more leeway, to say the least, to developers without improving delivery of development projects. The government has fallen for the developers’ line that the lack of housing is due to the planning system. Planning permission has been granted to private sector developers to build 2,600 houses in Ipswich. No starts have been made.              

Mike Cook

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