57 Henley Road. The owners have lost their appeal to build a house in the rear garden opening on to St Edmunds Road. It has now been sold with planning permission to convert to six flats. Hopefully, the new purchaser will return it to its real function as a large Victorian family house.

241 Sidegate Lane. SCC have sold this care home for 35 elderly persons to IBC who hired Nicolas Jacob to design the conversion to accommodate 45 homeless people. This is more than ever desperately needed but some 200 locals raised two petitions and many written objections on the grounds of exposing themselves and their families to undesirables. The application was passed after considerable acrimonious discussion.

Clifford Road Primary School. Suffolk County Council have applied for planning permission to continue replacing the fine Edwardian wooden windows with inappropriate aluminium which they have started to do without permission and propose to continue in the same vein. It is unclear who determines this application. This is a cheap solution to a problem and SCC should reconsider their proposal.

3 Elsmere Road. The owner has applied to fell two fine oak trees in his back garden. They are part of a grouping of mature trees situated on the north east boundary of, but yards outside, the Park Conservation Area. They are about 100 years old and in excellent condition. Though in a rear garden they are easily visited from the road and indeed Henley Road. Situated in what was Tinker's Hole by a now lost right of way, they are protected by a Tree Protection Order. The proposer claims they are dangerous and deprive his proposed extension of light; the trees appear to be in excellent condition and are many yards to the north of any future building. We and the neighbours consider it would be wrong to fell these magnificent trees.

Westerfield House, Humber Doucy Lane. This is a proposal to build a new assisted-care village concept to the rear of the listed buildings. The new buildings would be modern in design (by KLH Architects). So much extension has taken place on this site which is largely out of sight and does not affect the core building adversely that it is acceptable. We are however concerned by the proposal for two “directors’ houses” close to the road.

It had escaped my notice until now, but others may have known…

In October 2017, as part of Historic England's assessment of English schools 1963-1988, Birkin Haward's  Sprites Lane Academy Primary School has been Listed Grade II.

The main points of interest are its hyperbolic paraboloid roofs, probably the oldest surviving ones in the country, and the five cement relief panels by local sculptor Bernard Reynolds.

The Listing entry contains a very full description of the buildings, methods of construction and their surroundings. These are vital for the whole to be protected in the future.

Additionally, it has a biography of Birkin Haward.

This a notable addition to the C20 architectural heritage that has been acknowledged nationally:


Then in May it was announced that another Birkin Haward school building had been Listed Grade II. The library and classrooms of Ipswich School in Ivry Street were built between 1980 and 1982 with stained glass designed by John Piper. Substantially intact, it is Birkin Haward's last design and expresses his interest in linking modern design and older materials to the Listed original school:


+A reminder: nominations of good/interesting buildings (NOT in a Conservation Area) will be gratefully received – you have until next spring to add to the Borough Local List (see page 18 of this issue).

Mike Cook