The Cornhill saved, for the present
“THINK AGAIN” was the Ipswich Star's front page headline on 12 September. Welcome news indeed for most Ipswich Society members! IBC's consultation with the public did succeed in killing off that absurd scheme of levelling access to the Town Hall door with a long platform flanked by hazardous steps. We hope to see more sensible new proposals.
The Year of the Pig
The Pigs Gone Wild project has probably exceeded all expectations. The forty large pigs were a constant source of interest during the summer holidays. Parents and grandparents were to be seen everywhere with their children studying their maps and putting stickers in their albums. But even quite young adults were often fascinated and some people who don't usually come into the town centre made an exception for this. We hope that the final stage of auctioning off the pigs will have raised substantial sums for St Elizabeth Hospice.
The £4m investment in modernising Sailmakers has borne fruit in that several new units have opened recently and most of the complex is well used. So it should be - on a site so close to the town centre and with a sensible use of the rising land providing ground level access at both front and rear. But it is clear that prospective retailers prefer the lower floor because of the footfall in Tavern Street. Direct access from the town's main bus station to the upper floor doesn't make that equally popular. The eventual doubling of the capacity of Crown Street car park should make a difference.
The Society expressed its pleasure in the April Newsletter that the Hospital had been able to acquire the large site of the former school between the Garrett Anderson Centre and Heath Road. Hospital managers say that it could be used for a ‘health village' which would address health issues like childhood obesity and social factors affecting health. Such a valuable preventative facility would depend, however, on securing substantial funding.
Progress on the Waterfront?
We welcome IBC's purchase of the burnt-out site of St Peter's Warehouse and the Listed old house in College Street which should help to make re-development more likely. (Perhaps a handsome block of flats with a good convenience store at ground level?) The former Paul's concrete silo on the adjoining site is owned by an investment company. Let's hope these two very different bodies can work together. This ‘gateway' to the western end of the Waterfront has created a bad impression for far too long. If the promised ‘Wine Rack' development into flats starts at the end of this year, then this precious ‘new' part of town will really benefit.