We can reveal the Ipswich Society has told Martyn Fulcher the Head of Planning at Ipswich Borough Council that:
The Ipswich Society does not support this application and recommend refusal
With a contract already signed executed by Ipswich Vision and recommended approval on the Cornhill Redevelopment design proposal, the consequences of an undemocratic process could send shock-waves through local government enticing change.
Ipswich Society reasons for recommending refusal:-
1. A chance remark by a retired boss of M & S at a business inspired public meeting has led the Town to this extraordinary situation.
2. The desire is business led to increase footfall and thus profits in a dying concept of town centre shopping in a sub regional town centre.
3. There is no evidence that it will achieve its prime aim.
4. It will spoil a remarkable (and historical) space for a pseudo aesthetic cause.
5. The designers have taken pains to relate the space, the colours, the furnishings and the arches to past parts of the centre and the Cornhill; but all those past structures were put there for practical reasons; these are not.
6. The market will probably be diminished both in size and effectiveness. Ipswich is a Market Town, we should not risk loosing the market.
7. The four stone structures, as it might be “triglyphs”, are not going to be appreciated as modern architecture; it would be appropriate to consider them as a new (and separate) application.
8. The water feature is not simple; it requires the excavation of large hole in the Cornhill, maintenance costs will be high and few of such features remain working for many years.
9. Large numbers of the public have stated vehemently that they reject the first design but have had no open opportunity to discuss this subsequent proposal as there has been neither Public Exhibition nor Consultation on this application.
10. The expenditure of in excess of £3,000,000 of public money on the scheme at this time is unjustified and inappropriate.
11. The Society and its 1200 members are positive about the need to improve the Town Centre and have ideas that would be more functional and much cheaper.
12. We think that going ahead with the scheme would be inadvisable in the face of public opinion and in the current economic climate.