So Ipswich Borough Council approved the controversial Cornhill Redevelopment project during purdah as a gift to Ben Gummer to keep his seat, but what did the people say in the first Public Consultation?
The Public Consultation received 1821 responses – 1728 from their website and 93 written (letter/emails). This data was obtained through a Freedom of Information request.
The 8 “common themes” officially recognised are as follows:-
|Retain the market at the Cornhill||849||46.6%||Approx 1 in 2 people|
|Improve the current market||271||15%||Approx 1 in 7 people|
|Move the market away from the Cornhill||71||4%||Approx 1 in 25 people|
|More Cafés/Restaurants in the Cornhill||261||14%||Approx 1 in 7 people|
|Provide more public seating||352||19%||Approx 1 in 5 people|
|More Events/Performances/Gatherings||466||25.6%||Approx 1 in 4 people|
|Include more planting in the scheme||218||12%||Approx 1 in 8 people|
|Concerns over proposed steps||247||13%||Approx 1 in 8 people|
(The percentage and per head calculations are very rough and aren’t part of the original FOI data)
Travel Ipswich has allowed the market to be moved around to Queen Street – we are told this is a temporary (during Cornhill Redevelopment works) and over-spill location; but it is very probably this is the new home for the market.
Almost half of the people making representations in the survey signified they want the market kept at the Cornhill (only one in 25 want it moved away) and one in seven want the borough council to improve the market.
A quarter of Ipswich residents wanted more events, gatherings and performances at the Cornhill – the new design (and the old) severely limits the ability to do this.
One in eight people were concerned over the proposed steps – this has been removed from the new design with ramp access to get around the sets of steps there are. One in eight people also wanted more planting in the scheme to make it more beautiful, instead four nasty blocks…
One in five want more seating. There is a lot of modern seating included. I can’t see too many fans… either the backless-blocks which are common place or sitting on the outer perimeter a few feet away from stairs with people walking by.
One in seven said they wanted more cafes/restaurants on the Cornhill – which was the original concept sold to Ipswich residents – except the borough declined the Grimwade planning application to open up a restaurant on the Cornhill
View Planning Application photos for the Cornhill Redevelopment.
Although, the design changed significantly the public consultation showed how people were passionate and caring about their town centre so many people gave suggestions and opinions as part of this process.
This is why this post is the short summary, while we read through all the responses!!! You will notice much of these responses are applicable to the new design as it isn’t surrounding around closed questions on specific elements of the old design. See “Ipswich Cornhill Redevelopment” above to view other parts of the consultation.