Crane's 44 acre derelict site in Nacton Road is perhaps the most depressing sight in Ipswich. The proposed Crane Park trading estate would re-develop it and provide valuable jobs.
'Bacon Curve' - thank goodness the Government has endorsed the new twin-track 'Ipswich Chord' allowing freight trains from Felixstowe to head direct to Peterborough and the north, so avoiding the mainline to London. But it will be 4 years before it opens.
Ipswich Buses - we welcome IBC's decision n6t to sell a stake in the company to Go Ahead. It's true that very few local authorities own bus companies, but ours is too good to lose.
Retail Head - the Business Improvement District (BID) has worked with mc to create a new post - someone to attract inward investment to fill vacant shops and widen the range of retail offer. All the more necessary in the near future as spending money gets tighter.
Northern Fringe - the Government's rejection of Mersea Homes' proposal for 1000+ new houses between Westerfield Road and Henley Road was expected because a masterplan is needed for the whole area. With increased local decision making it's hard to anticipate what will happen eventually but it's surely inescapable that Ipswich needs more houses.
Squirrell honoured - the Society's Blue Plaque commemorating artist Leonard Squirrell at 82 Spring Road was dedicated on 6 October. The artist's daughter, Annette Kenny, spoke eloquently about her pleasure in seeing this completed.
Hospital's name - Heath Road hospital is now officially 'Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust - a teaching hospital affiliated to Cambridge, UEA and UCS'. This recognises the hospital's important role in helping to teach medical students from the three universities.
The press in town - media group Archant producing the Evening Star and the EADT in Lower Brook Street is to re-develop its site but itself stay on site. The decision in 1966 to stay in the town was good for the town then, and so is this decision now.
Markets on the Waterfront have taken place on certain Sundays, which helps to attract visitors and remind them that the Waterfront is indeed an important part of central Ipswich.
Tower Ramparts Shopping Centre is pleased that the Littlewoods's premises, empty for 4 years, have been taken over by the clothing store, Madhouse. Whether or not it's the store for you, it's a boost for the town centre and especially for this well situated shopping centre.
St Michael's Church (large Victorian church in Upper Orwell Street, redundant since 1997) and church hall have been bought by JIMAS, a UK-based Muslim charity. Both buildings will become a community centre. Re-use, costing the charity perhaps £lm, is welcome.
Irish banks were major financiers of both The Mill (Cranfield's) and Regatta Quay (Paul's) as well as the sugar beet factory site and SnOasis. No wonder it's in the UK's interest to see Irish banks stabilised!
The new footbridge at the railway station was installed in mid-November with the lifts to follow. It will open in the spring. Not before time - as mentioned in the last Newsletter!