Great Whip Street
On the site of Graham's, builders' merchants, and the former works of Bolenda Engineering, Stoke Quay New Homes (a subsidiary of Genesis Homes) have submitted a re-application for a scheme, this time for almost 400 residential units with 212 parking spaces. Living-Architects has in our opinion improved on the previous scheme while increasing the density which is now for 100 very sheltered extra-care apartments, 276 apartments (in the main for social housing) and 25 town houses close to Bulstrode Road, which is conveniently above expected flood levels and thus provides a dry escape route from the 12 storey tower blocks.
This scheme is marginally different from other speculative developments in that it is in the main for social housing; we will review the application in detail before making comment.
The burnt-out St Peter's Warehouse, Bridge Street and the site adjacent to Steam Boat Tavern, Felaw Street
It has been five years since these two development sites were granted planning permission and these are now re-applications for an extension of time. By way of reminder, the former was to be replaced by 64 flats in 10 storeys (with associated commercial uses) and the latter scheme was for 47 flats in 7 storeys, again with commercial use on the ground floor. You could argue that we have sufficient empty flats and part-completed developments around the Waterfront but this is not an acceptable objection in planning terms. (St Peter s Warehouse is being demolished. A 70-space temporary car park will look better at least, and be useful: Editor)
Demolition of existing flood defence structures adjacent to the lock gates
Work is well underway to construct a flood defence wall from the lock gates in an easterly direction to Cliff Quay brewery (and the high ground on which the tank farm sits) and in a westerly direction from the New Cut to the railway embankment running down from Halifax Junction. The lock gates have already been replaced and the Tidal Barrier across the New Cut will follow. This application by the Environment Agency is to complete the tidying up exercise once all new structures are in place. There has not yet been an application for the control room but we have had an early sight of the model and it will be a stunning building.
Cooper's Garage, West End Road
This application is for change of use from garage to supermarket (similar size to Lidl across the river) and a fast-food take-away. The Ipswich Society has commented:
"Although we have no objection to the change of use, we remind the Planning and Development Committee that this is a very prominent gateway site when approaching Ipswich from the south, and as such the foremost buildings should be of outstanding aesthetic quality. This outline application suggests that the structure on the junction of West End Road and Handford Road is the refuse storage enclosure - totally unacceptable. The very basis of the layout of the fast-food hut is one of circulating cars surrounding the building. We would prefer to see a building that provides presence, style and quality sitting prominently on the corner. Waste bins and vehicles should be out of sight to the north of the building. We are additionally disappointed that the river frontage is not addressed and feel the applicant has a duty to improve river access and the condition of the towpath (which could be incorporated into these proposals). There could be advantageous planning gain if the towpath was widened to accommodate a short length of National Cycle Route 51."