The Society’s responses to these proposals

47 Key Street: five new blocks varying in height from 3 to 12 storeys comprising 214 residential units with workshops, car parks, etc.

The Society’s executive has discussed this enterprising proposal for an important site close to the Waterfront. We welcome many of the positive proposals - separate blocks of housing, the inclusion of 34% public space, the excellent permeability for pedestrians and cyclists, the space for an arts and crafts market with workshops, the incorporation of the Tudor barn, the retention of the 1920s Georgian bankers façade to Salthouse Street and increased accessibility to the Jewish Cemetery……..

(But) if we compare an earlier version of the 12-storey proposal with the latest we have a clear preference for the original. The darker blue glass mitred corner caused the building to blend with the (sky) background; the latest has a cladding of panels resembling light stone. In our opinion there is no local comparator for this type of surface finish and it will stand prominent in the landscape.


The raised plateau in Custom House Square is the most contentious idea because with the current arrangements it won’t work. However, the Society supports it very strongly because we feel it will be the catalyst for changes in traffic management hereabouts. It needs accompanying with an overhaul for cross-town traffic management for which a solution could be to reduce west-bound traffic to a single lane, thus reducing the interface between pedestrians and vehicles at the back of the Custom House. These changes need to be major and not limited to this development. However, this development should not be refused because others are unable to sort out cross-town traffic.

(The proposal was approved by IBC’s Planning and Development Committee on 12 September.)


73-81 St Matthew’s Street: conversion of office building to form student accommodation of 7 flats and 19 studios. (This was the house built for Richard Dykes Alexander whose naming of the eight streets to commemorate abolitionists of the slave trade was featured in the previous Newsletter.)

We applaud the possibility of this fine town house coming back into residential use… We particularly liked the first floor extension (on the Portman Road corner) and it should enhance the appearance from Barrack Corner…. Proposals to remove and replace the second floor are difficult to assess…. We note with interest the 5-storey extension in the courtyard ad have attempted to establish its visibility from the public highway. Officers should check that it doesn’t surprise us with the ‘Revett’s effect’ (i.e. in Norwich Road)!


ASDA, Stoke Park: removal of condition to provide retail units within 12 months and a medical centre.

The Ipswich Society is disappointed that ASDA have been unable to find a user for the medical centre in the proposed adjoining building but accepts that ongoing changes in the way Primary Care Trusts operate make a doctors’ surgery unlikely. We are however concerned about the proposals to alter the timescale for the construction of the remaining retail units but accept that these are unlikely to be let until the market is assured that this centre is viable, i.e. when ASDA have been open for some months and footfall becomes known.

Our greatest concern is about opening hours and ASDA’s suggestion of being on a level playing field in competition with Tesco, Copdock. But ASDA are building a neighbourhood store and as such the store should keep to hours acceptable to a residential community, should attract shoppers from the locality (and certainly not off the A14 at Copdock) and should do their utmost to provide a variety of retail outlets. (IBC has approved the proposals.)


Lower Orwell Street: student flats on Gym and Trim site.

The Society objected very strongly to this application because the site would be over-developed with too many habitations, it is too high, the massing is uninteresting and the style is not even pastiche. Lower Orwell Street has importance for the future as it will be one of the streets connecting the Mint Quarter development to the Waterfront. Thus we must insist on a higher standard of design because the architectural character of the street must be distinguished and attractive. (IBC refused the proposal for similar reasons, plus loss of trees and green space.)


5 Wherry Lane: change of use from restaurant to restaurant/bar.

We welcome the attempt by the owners to find a use for this building…………..Christie’s Warehouse is a fine dockside building and although not Listed contributes to the low rise group of buildings either side of Wherry Lane, buildings which bring the high rise residential units approved elsewhere along this frontage back down to a human scale. We are however persuaded that to make this restaurant viable it is necessary to raise the roof of the central section and by careful execution and appropriate materials this alteration will not be unduly visible or noticeable. (IBC approved.)


New Fire Station, Colchester Road.

The Society is pleased that the County Council’s PFI deliverers’ architects have come up with a greatly improved design for this important building. They have also incorporated the Needham Market ancient fire engine house neatly. (IBC has approved the proposal.)


10-12 St Peter’s Street: change of use from nursery to 3 flats & bar/restaurant.

We object on a number of counts, primarily that it is over-development of the site. We accept that the flats and the restaurants could work well together, the flats providing accommodation for the restaurant staff but the number of covers proposed is excessive... We also object to the take-away facility. St Peter’s is totally unsuitable for any additional traffic likely to be generated by take-away provision. (IBC approved the proposal.)


31 Stoke Street: erection of 5 houses.

Any scheme that proposes its wheelie bin storage in the front garden deserves rejection without further consideration. Wheelie bins are a ‘Welcome to Ipswich’ statement for anyone walking from the station to the Waterfront – permanently left outside the front of the property. (IBC approved this brownfield site development with conditions about bin storage.)


The Society has objected to a new application for a house in the curtilage of the Grade II* Listed house at 4 Constitution Hill; to the extra height, and design of redeveloping no. 53-55 Westerfield Road; and to an extra betting shop in Carr Street, at no. 34. (IBC approved this.)


The outcome of previous applications we commented on

Regatta Quay (Albion Quay): We objected to 3 additional storeys next to the Custom House and 2 additional storeys on the other tower block, but IBC has granted planning permission.

Great Whip Street (near Stoke Bridge/New Cut): 351 residential buildings, etc. (IBC approved.)