A further application has been received to build houses on the car park of the Railway public house. The proposal is for seven small semi's, four along the building line of Cauldwell Hall Road and a terrace of three in a small close further back. The design of the houses leaves a lot to be desired but our real concern is the loss of a community asset, a car park for any future use of the original building.
Our use of electricity is increasing, particularly on cold winter days, so much so that the capacity to generate is potentially short of the peak requirements. To meet this 'over demand' a private company has applied for planning permission to build two diesel generators on the site of the former Cliff Quay power station. The Society has no issues with the location of the generators; they will not be noticeable in the melee of the cranes, buildings and plant of Cliff Quay. We simply question the lack of forward planning that gets us into a situation where we have to buy very expensive electricity.
Sohal Healthcare of Essex has applied for minor alterations to the home in Crabbe Street which if approved will ensure the continued use of that facility. Sohal, as well as their Essex Care Homes, have one in Elton Park, Hadleigh Road.
The forty-four acre business park where John Lewis is situated has attracted the attention of three car dealerships, Jaguar, Land Rover and Audi. The site is scheduled for employment but Audi argue that when they moved into Bath Street they sold 200 vehicles per year and employed twelve people. They now sell 1000 new Audi's every year and employ 52 staff.
A listed building at 39 St Margaret's Street, opposite the end of Bolton Lane - once used as a restaurant but empty for a considerable time - is to be converted into a private house. There need to be minor alterations to the historic fabric but mainly the building work is to remove inappropriate 1970s poor quality construction. We welcome more town centre housing.
We are still not sure what the actual plans are for the Rosehill Centre; the latest minor amendment is to render the existing Aldi store white (over the existing brickwork). We are always sad to see brickwork (which is reasonably maintenance free) painted or rendered but assume this is to clearly mark a change of occupant.
The most exciting development received by the Planners this month is the proposal to build a restaurant in a revamped Theatre Square, outside the New Wolsey (and on top of the Spiral Car Park). Changes include re-cladding the ventilation tower and a new bridge from the Theatre across to Lady Lane. This could be the first development in the re-use of the Civic Centre site; we await further proposals with interest.
You might have noticed Gipping Construction are rebuilding some flats above the St Matthew's Street shops (Morrison's to British Heart Foundation): more residential units in the town centre. The latest application is for a Restaurant / Take Away hot food shop two doors to the right of Morrison's (next door to the Funeral Directors).
Elmy's Cycles (of St Helen's Street) are planning to use the disused electricity sub-station on Orwell Quay for a Bicycle Hire facility. We support the reuse of this ugly building and wish the facility every success. It is difficult to foresee the demand for cycle hire on wet winter weekdays and hope that summer sunshine brings sufficient income to cover costs.