Fore Street and Duke Street junction changes
The Society at local members' requests attended various meetings on these contentious changes. Suffolk County Councils' Highways Department was granted a large tranche of money from the Department of Transport if it could design a scheme which reduced traffic flow by 10%. This it did by preventing traffic from Back Hamlet entering the junction and installing traffic lights. Public consultation was poor even if barely legal and there was much public dissatisfaction particularly by local traders who were badly hit and fail to see any improvement for the £350,000 spend. However these schemes take a little time to settle and that junction may well be a little better. Others will not fare so well (St Helens Street and Cavendish Street).
Marriott's Site, Handford Road
MacCarthy and Stone's proposals for the site have now been registered after early public consultation. They propose complete site clearance including the former public house which has not been licensed for at least 40 years. They wish to build a care of the elderly facility.
I have received different views on the desirability of the scheme and the Society's letter to the Council will reflect that.
Arclion House, Hadleigh Road
This will be demolished and replaced by 15 affordable housing units designed by Barefoot and Gilles. This was supported by the Society.
The primary developers of the four largest sites are now in administration. No building is taking place now or in the foreseeable future on Cranfield's Mill, Regatta Quay, Shed 8 (currently a car park, between Neptune Quay and the newest university buildings in Duke Street) and St Peter's Port (between Star Lane and College Street next to St Peter's Church).
Barton Wood, Stone Lodge Lane, demolition of two houses and replace with 29 dwellings. Permission was refused. The application did not comply with over 30 different Local Planning Policies, had no transport assessment on Stone Lodge Lane and there were some 65 different local objectors. Most importantly it would have meant the loss of two fine early 20th century houses which are not Listed but are deemed to be of Local Heritage Value.
The Parks Department have permission to fell 19 sick trees (some horse chestnuts, weakened by leaf mosaic and a fungus, are succumbing to chancre) 10 trees because they interfere with views of the cenotaph and the wetlands and 3 trees because they are in the wrong place. The Friends of Christchurch Park are in agreement.
Oil storage tanks, Europa Way.
This application mentioned in the October Newsletter has been withdrawn. We have heard, but there is no confirmation as yet, that the Volpak tank farm on Landseer Road will close. If this is true then the Tolly Cobbold Cliff Brewery can be redeveloped as residential.
It is said work will start in January as they have come to a large financial settlement on the Novotel roundabout. There have been no public consultations on this by mid-December.
Great Whip Street, to build nearly 400 residential units. The further application for the development of the Graham's site for higher buildings and more units has been withdrawn.
2 Constitution Hill
This largely invisible and unsatisfactory house built on a garden grab from 77 Henley Road in the 1960s will be almost completely demolished and replaced with a 2½ storey house. The Society welcomes the proposal but has reservations about the height, and the multiplicity of external materials. Further consideration needed before permission should be granted.
Ipswich Borough Council Core Strategy for Planning
IBC's Core Strategy has been developed, consulted upon publicly and agreed. It was placed before a Planning Inspector for its Examination in Public before becoming the town's Official and Legal Strategic Plan. However, the Secretary of State, Mr Eric Pickles, by scrapping the Regional Spatial Strategies, altered many of the premises upon which it was based. And so the Planning Inspector decided to postpone the examination from midsummer to an indeterminate time until the Borough had had time to reconsider how the Core Strategy would be affected by such edicts. They are, most importantly, the removal of RSS and its accompanying proposed new house build numbers. These had particularly irritated many rural councils as they could not see the need for the imposition of such large numbers of affordable houses in small towns and villages. Hertfordshire would have been inundated and Suffolk Coastal remains still very far from a solution. (Hence their tacit support for a large development at Adastral Park.) The Borough officers considered whether to alter it to accommodate these new edicts or to rewrite the entire Core Strategy which would not only have been very expensive and time consuming but also have left the town relying on the 1997 plan for its legal planning base which would have hardly stood up to inquiry 15 years later.
IBC's Executive Committee agreed in early October to recommend a change to Policy CS12 (Affordable Housing) reducing from 40% to 35% of affordable housing in developments of more than 15 units and a further strengthening of the infrastructure requirement components in Policy CS10 (Ipswich Northern Fringe) as the appropriate way forward. There will need to be a full comprehensive strategic plan of the entire Northern Fringe by an independent consultant town planner. Public consultation is now open through the usual channels and the Society will be replying before the closing date of 17 January 2011.