Rights of Way around the Wet Dock
In the April issue I was able to report in haste the summary of the Inspector's decisions as the paper only came through the letter box on the very last day of the last deadline. Thus whilst it is true that the Inspector confirmed a Right of Way along the north side of the Wet Dock, it is as a Restricted Byway and not as a Byway Open to All Traffic (a BOAT). The effect of this, which was not sought by anyone, is to prevent all mechanically propelled vehicles from using it as a through route.
47 Key Street and Slade Street
Trevor Home's fine mixed development, probably the best plans we have seen for the Waterfront, are not commercially viable in the present economic climate. The current proposals for a mixed development for 405 students, a student venue, medical centre, crêche, retail, launderette and other ancillary accommodation will have a good chance of coming to fruition with the support of the University and the site owners' desire to get some income from the site. The Jewish cemetery and the Tudor Barn will be enhanced by an improved public space with through pedestrian passage from the Fore Street end to the Custom House. Considerable work needs to be done to the plans of the new building at the north and south end of the F ore Street elevation. There is also considerable objection in allowing the 14 storey student block.. Many feel that this height is too much a block back from the Wet Dock. However, economics will prevail, I fear, at this time and permission granted.
Fison House, 159 Princes Street
Fison's 1958 headquarters, designed by Birkin Haward, has his signature use of pre-cast concrete V and H forms as pillars and beams. Only three of the proposed four sides were built and thus it was not deemed to be Listable by English Heritage and the 20th Century Society. In its present state it has not been possible to let it as offices. The owners have therefore proposed that it should be clad, a new floor added and a towerlet built as an entrance feature. Despite the objections of many architects, Birkin Haward's sons, the 20th Century Society, our Society and the Conservation Officer, the alterations have been granted permission, largely on economic grounds. We continue in our objection to the alteration as a programme of restoration; the possible addition of the fourth side would have achieved the same desirable economic aim without the loss to view of an important mid-20th century building.
Music Building for Ipswich School, Holly Road
This proposal for a 204 seat recital room, rehearsal spaces and practice rooms with entrance foyer and catering facilities has been designed by a specialist architect to sit on the multi-purpose sports courts at the top of Holly Road behind Warrington Road. We do have some reservations about the external design which is unprepossessing, the increased traffic to evening events and the possibility of noise, together with the increase in density of buildings in what is currently a lung space. However, there are many positive things to be said about the development and, on balance, we felt it should not be objected to.
Reservoir site, Park Road
Once again the original fine plans have proved uneconomical to sell, so a fresh approach is to demolish the reservoir, long disused, and build five detached 4-storey houses, modem in appearance but in the characteristic late Victorian style. Their height will be disguised by the topography of the site; and the ground floor, garage and utility will be largely hidden by the remnants of the existing bund. This, assuming completion, would be a useful addition to this area of north Ipswich.
Car park, Russell Road
This application for a temporary car park for 117 spaces on an already concreted piece of land between IBC's Grafton House and West End Road was refused. This is an important decision as it reflects a recent policy change by the Borough in regards to temporary car parks in the town centre. It is now felt that their recent proliferation to 2000 spaces (50% of the total available) has increased traffic congestion and reduced the use of the Park and Ride schemes to the extent that the Bury Road scheme has been withdrawn owing to the excessive subsidy required by Suffolk County Council. Further, it may now be more profitable to use a site as a car park than develop it. The Society, which formally objected to the scheme, strongly supports this new policy.
161 Woodbridge Road
The owner has already breached the front Victorian brick wall and in the process done such damage to the root system of one preserved beech tree that it will have to be felled. Fortunately the other tree will survive and, amazingly, he does not need permission to knock his wall down and create a parking area at the front. But he does need planning permission for a dropped kerb and this has been refused. He has perfectly adequate parking at the back with access from Lacey Street.
Examination in Public of Ipswich Borough Council's Core Strategy
The Inquiry has started and now stopped again. The aim is to determine whether the plans are sound, not if you agree or disagree. The main contention is, in the cancellation of Regional Plans and Targets for Houses and Jobs, should the number of houses be built whatever, or should we wait for the jobs to come. This will run throughout the summer.
The Society will be in attendance and putting forward its published views.