2 Park Road. Inevitably, in view of the extant permission granted on appeal twelve years ago, the slight enlargement and the larger car park was granted. The effect on the Conservation Area will not be great but time will tell how much traffic is generated.


Mulberry Tree. An application for conversion to a community centre for the Kurds including a prayer room; the  scheme was well-supported by the Kurdish community nationwide. Locally, it received a record number of almost entirely irrelevant objections, which is dismaying.


28-32 Museum Street. These Listed buildings, Birketts former offices, have all been bought by one developer. No. 20, once a Regency town house, will be converted to four apartments and no 28-32 into nine. This will lead to some undesirable but unpreventable internal detail loss as part of the internal changes. The remainder will be re-let as offices to raise cash-flow whilst difficulties with conversion are resolved.


Ravenswood, Nacton Road. Erection of Day Centre and 24-bed residential accommodation for Headway Suffolk: this development is to be welcomed as it will provide a welcome new facility to Ipswich for the rehabilitation of neurological injuries.

However, the architecture is utilitarian which could well be avoided. There are many instances countrywide of fine modern architecture in similar establishments, for example Maggie's Cancer Centre or our own children’s hospice by Roger Gillies.


Old Post Office Cornhill. The Borough, as owners, propose an internal refurbishment before inviting offers of use. These include removal of modern interior fittings, ceilings and partitions; removal of roof dormer on east elevation; removal of modern door canopy on east elevation; reduction of redundant boiler chimney; application of lead weathering to cornices; replacement and extension of birdproof netting.


Church of St Matthew. Installation of protective plastic coated wire mesh over the north aisle late 19th century stained glass, facing Civic Drive by The Stained Glass Window company of Over Stoke, Ipswich.


6-10 Cox Lane & 36-46 Carr Street, the former central Co-operative store. This proposal has no design, nor access plan online at present, so we can only surmise that Joe Fogle is going to convert the upper floors to apartments.


Grafton Way. The old lower yard, the former B&Q and Tesco Extra site, continues to evolve. This plan would build some 173 town houses in terraces with views of the river, retail space, public space, a pedestrian and cycle way from the skate park to Princes Street bridge with access. Though broadly acceptable, there are many details which should be improved. We will be negotiating to improve the outcome.


Dove Street/Rope Walk Corner, motor cycle parking. Suffolk New College wishes to build a small classroom-block similar to the one recently approved on the opposite corner. Whilst the style is fine, we feel that they should not be permitted to build out to the line of Dove Street as this blocks the line of sight from St Helens Street along the south face of the new building; instead they should be asked to rotate the building eastwards to occupy more of the car park.


Westerfield House. The extension to the existing care home which has, at its core, a 18th century house to form a large ‘Care Village’ for all stages of later life was granted permission. This is a relatively new concept for the UK and the design by KLH is modern. The applicants requested permission for two houses on Humber Doucy Lane for the managers.


9-13 St Matthews Street. Conversion of rear part of shops and first and second floors and adding third and fourth floors to provide two 1-bed and eleven 2-bedroom flats, designed by KLH; permission was granted.


133-139 Valley Road. Permission has been granted to build seven dwellings at the rear of these typical 1920s detached houses. Their design (one 3-bed chalet bungalow, three 4-bedroom and three 5-bedroom houses, all with accommodation in the roof spaces) is disappointing. We objected to the over-tall houses and their exceptionally ordinary design with nothing to distinguish them from their predecessors.


Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs). Under the latest legislation a formal planning application is no longer required to convert offices into HMOs; however, Listed buildings, and those in Conservation Areas and others still do. Numerous projects are underway. We are concerned about Westerfield Road, the conversion of the uneconomic Ormonde House rest home to student accommodation and 160 Norwich Road, an 1834 house, Listed Grade 2, formerly an SCC hostel; both projects are by the same developer. We believe that the Borough’s Planning Department, particularly its Enforcement Officer, are keeping a close eye on all such developments. See the HMOs article on page 14.


Erection of modern Telephone Call Boxes. We will object to these proposals to erect these devices outside Superdrug in Carr Street, Sainsbury’s in Upper Brook Street, on the Island site, in Dogs Head Street and outside the Ipswich Building Society (Parr’s Bank) in Princes Street. They are close to the pavement edge, will cause pedestrian obstruction in heavy footfall areas, are unnecessary as everybody has a mobile phone and will become advertising and graffiti hoardings, untended. This application is by J.C. Decaux, the UK’s largest outdoor advertising company. The Society successfully persuaded IBC to remove all but one large outside advertising hoarding around 1980; we mustn’t let go of our heritage.

Mike Cook