Carr Street Co-op: Good Location For New Primary School?

Discussion in 'Local Politics' started by dan5, Aug 12, 2017.

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  1. dan5

    dan5Founder MemberStaff Member

    Approximately 2 months ago we announced the Carr Street Co-op is going to become a Primary School, this comes after news of the Department for Education turning down a funding bid for it. The borough and county now joint funding it. New MP Sandy Martin along with David Ellesmere is backing it. Ben Gummer allegedly was involved and Colin Noble was infamously upset when Sandy Martin posed for photos.

    The project of a new free school was announced last year by Ipswich Primary Academies Trust who are now renamed as A Suffolk School Education Trust formally, whilst go under the name ASSET Education.

    (No wonder it was turned down, they probably won backronym of the century! In ASSET, the "A" stands for the singular determiner "a" and the "E" for" Education" despite the mandatory Education suffix to the acronym to avoid confusing people... not to mention the "T" for "Trust" which is always the last word to denote the charitable organisation type. I can only assume it is "A Suffolk School Education Trust t/a ASSET Education")

    What does Ipswich Vision think?

    Well not too long ago they undertook the Turning Our Town Around policy document from our Future High Street X- Fund competition monies where they planned for the area, known as the Eastgate Quarter.

    The plans were simple... (and you expect these plans to last at least 3-5 years)

    None of which mentions a new school.

    Is it time to rethink the plan of 2000 new homes in the town centre when this means prime retail locations are given up in return for new schools to meet demand?

    It is solely poor planning. When Suffolk County Council moved away from that end of the town centre it hit it hard (likewise with Ipswich Borough Council up the other end of the town) but at that time it wasn't known whether Ipswich would become a university town which is what has boosted the post-recession town centre.

    They also didn't plan the axis switch to kill off the far extremes of our traditional town centre, the "golden mile" being in existence for over a thousand years. I still believe that the town could have been rescued - the struggling streets could be boosted in a manner of ways... and Carr Street is fortunate to have a large car park in close vicinity (and a few others in slightly further distance).


    The co-op department store almost reaches half the length of Carr Street. On top of this a bit further down you have the Woolworths site which needs knocking down. Opposite that you have what I think they refer to as the Eastgate Shopping Centre (not to be confused with the former Eastgate Shopping Centre) which had the external appearance smartened up not so long ago.

    For many, Carr Street is a no-go area, no one gets past Upper Brook Street... arguably only those who access the town from Majors Corner goes past here. I will be honest... this row of shops look good, and even the surrounding paving isn't too bad.

    It wouldn't take too much imagination to extend this style down to B&M/QD/99pStore and perhaps even Argos. You could mirror it opposite for 3 stores of this style to replace the Woolworths building. Nothing luxurious but it gets the job done. Stick some housing above it, why not? Quite noticeably not all retail units are shops which is a shame but this is down to the borough council. Over time replace the old paving, bit of landscaping, it wouldn't be so bad.

    If Ipswich Central and the council were more proactive with a plan, they could pull some big names in a modern retail unit (we cannot go round demolishing the whole town but many brands are unwilling to have to adapt to old buildings and strange shapes). No matter what politicians would counter me saying this, but there was nothing stopping having a plan to have a small Waitrose at this part of town (not far from Sainsburys) rather than on the side of the town hall/corn exchange as part of the deal of their Futura Park deal. Next have been in the town before and they have a store close by in the retail park which may shut in the future, they might not say no in relocating if something could be met to fulfil their needs.

    Create a localised scheme, get multiple brands "interested" and then sign up... if you can get a good anchor tenant... which is half the battle... Argos is the main reason people go up that side of town (other than the pound shops) but most people just go to the retail park. Not enough parking? Multi-storey!

    If A1 retail isn't suitable... turn it into a food street... the problem is the Buttermarket Centre jumped on the chance to take advantage of this, so this would now be mostly a non-starter.

    I think the different areas of town (I would list as Carr Street, Tavern St, Buttermarket, Upper Brook St, Cornhill, Westgate St, Far end of Westgate St) need their own plans and champions. They should be competing directly against each other. All Ipswich Vision has identified is "if we smarten up the Cornhill, more people would go down to the waterfront"... why?!

    Unfortunately, the easiest route is solely to convert as much into housing and schools... if not food outlets and coffee shops... if not betting shops and charity shops... people are only going to drive from the town centre to retail parks on the outskirts of town... or destinations further afield. More congestion and weaker town centre.

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