Eagle Wharf - Waterfront East Visitor centre

Discussion in 'Town Centre (Central Ipswich)' started by wrightie, Sep 9, 2017.

  1. wrightie

    wrightieNew Member

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    screenshot-140-e1504986099135.png I wrote a post on this but thought it'd be interesting to post here.

    Eagle Wharf


    Ipswich waterfront lack a tourist attraction aside for a few cafes and bars, but it turns out there was a proposal for a visitor centre that would be the hub of East Anglia. Turns out in 2004 they wanted to create a visitor centre on the site between Ship Launch Road and Patterson Road... plus 566 flats, called Waterfront East. The centre would occupy sites along Neptune Quay and in the Orwell Quay 2005 proposal, all spaces would be used for different activities. It seems this is the only tourist attraction proposed on the waterfront.

    Yet it seems it fell through, despite getting planning permission within 3 weeks. It is listed as pending consideration. The developers could own the land maybe? Anyway, the only other attraction proposed is the Brewery conversion and museum and that is located even further south, not even on the waterfront.

    Just thought it was interesting.
    screenshot-140-e1504986099135.png untitled.png
     
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    • dan5

      dan5ModeratorStaff Member

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      Absolutely brilliant including the other post about the previous concept for the wine rack.

      Original Waterfront proposal (now the wine rack)

      With both of these maybe we could be the Waterfront Town of East Anglia... how we currently are? Not a chance! Depressing when you think about it...

      Time to pull the obsession with the waterfront!
       
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      • martinc

        martincMember

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        Site not working well on mobile now by the way.... Hasxit changed?

        Is this the same proposal for a heritage centre that was promoted at some time by the Ipswich society? I suspect not, I think that was going to be on the island site. If the Waterfront is ever to become a genuinely worthwhile tourist attraction then it will need something more than it has. The proposal for the Hold and moving the records office there could be the seeds for that but doubt anyone will be ambitious enough...
         
      • dan5

        dan5ModeratorStaff Member

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        ( Nothing has changed. I just tried it a moment ago on mobile and seems okay. Did it look as though it was under-styled? I have noticed sometimes (even on desktop) a stylesheet fails to load and it ends up looking terrible. This appears to be a cloudflare issue - it doesn't really help that this forum dynamically generates CSS stylesheets. If it continues to be a problem I will need to copy-and-paste CSS rules from 80 or so files into a few, and host it as a static file so it always remains the same. )

        No, the heritage centre I think was supposed to be in the west to tidy up the hellhole of Stoke Bridge area. (Or so there was a competition for some student to design it which later was binned - whats the point?! ) Something about a viewing platform and wood. I know I could have bothered to look into it but this is what I remember off the top of my head. If I am far off the mark it shows how forgettable it was. Although you are right - and I am probably getting confused too - there has been various ideas and one of these had been on the island site. Yesterday I learnt there had also been a proposal to the East side of the waterfront for an heritage centre. There is also question marks (larger than the one near the waterfront university building) over the old brewery site. Everything will be flats... a lazy option; or no development at all.

        One of the amazing things is after all the promotion the little area of the town gets - even back then - I wasn't aware of these two developments at that time being proposed. I have to admit if those ideas had gone ahead (despite being a hang out spot for the uni students) I might have been more accepting of the Ipswich Waterfront concept. (I still think it is silly to have a new uni campus that is divided into north and south with quite a significant road in between) This said, with a cinema and shopping centre... what would have happened to the Buttermarket? Even Tower Ramparts? Add in The Link... would have likely ended up as a powerhouse. Add in other developments like the Grafton Way site... and perhaps even the Mint Quarter shopping centre... we would be a contender to regional capital.

        Instead, we are left with the token architecture... being the Willis Building (well modern architecture I should state!) which looks really out of place in Ipswich. Everything else appears to be that two-tone block style to a certain degree - be in a uni building, flats, or hotel etc. Although we have a few modern buildings in addition to the Willis Building, it is almost as if town planners do not want anything which could possibly better it. A bridge is fine... of course.
         
      • martinc

        martincMember

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        all the little icons for commenting, and for editing here are stacked vertically instead of horizontally, it's happening on tablet and on desktop now!.. Its making for a lot of scrolling... Would it not be sensible to have a specific forum for website issues, feedback and suggestions to be reported and logged to stop clogging up other threads with off topic rubbish?
         
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        • dan5

          dan5ModeratorStaff Member

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          I do agree. There is a forum for that: Support Just made a topic in that forum for any reports.
           
        • martinc

          martincMember

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          OK, sort of back on topic as we were talking about a Waterfront visitor attraction and I mentioned the SCC Record Office plans to move there and create The Hold. I was never quite sure where this was going to be, turns out its not on the waterfront at all but the other side of the road in the college car park!
           
        • dan5

          dan5ModeratorStaff Member

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          Yeah, "waterfront" see the below map... (typical 2 minute MS paint job... lol)

          waterfrontarea.png
          The red shape was roughly what was initially referred to as the Waterfront. It is the wet dock from the road going to the island site to Neptune Marina, down to where those flats are and the northern part of the island site. Basically the northern section of the Wet Dock.

          So it excluded the dead-end area south west of College St near Stoke Bridge - probably explains why that part looks so awful - and the river near Stoke/"Over Stoke".

          The blue line is the modern version... (not official) it is although Ipswich Waterfront has become a district even where there is no "waterfront" close to much of it. Start from North West of Bridge Street along top boundary of Star Lane gyratory across to the other side of the junction to Back Hamlet (but includes the Suffolk New College site... really?!) , heading south including the flats near Duke Street but not the industrial estate... on the other side it includes Vernon Street and roughly everything right of Wherstead Road (northern part). This includes the Stoke Quay area... the water in front of it is the River Orwell and not the Wet Dock.

          I was alarmed to hear of the "block of flats" fire at the Ipswich Waterfront... expecting it to be in the red area just to find out it was Vernon Street of just a few stories. I mean a fire is a fire... and a life is a life... but it wasn't even a fire in the end. Vernon Street doesn't even border the river and isn't the Wet Dock.

          There is no official classification of the area as "Ipswich Waterfront" (or Waterfront) which is why it is incorrectly designated as a public park on Google Maps to aid people finding it. Ipswich Waterfront isn't an political ward, isn't a district, it isn't the name of an estate... despite all the promotion the area gets (unless I am mistaken) it is still an informal title for the (partial) regeneration of the Victorian wet dock. Why hasn't town planners officially named the area?

          Back to topic... yes, The Hold is southern section of the college site. They tried to dispose of the college site for the university... I think the original plan was to sell it for housing and then build all the uni at the waterfront... it is a mere compromise for the site to be split into north (Suffolk New College) and south (Uni of Suffolk). The Ipswich Waterfront Innovation Centre (IWIC) is even further north than where The Hold is planned. The difficulty is with these new buildings, they are tied to the sites which aren't fit for purpose... they don't really have the option to relocate elsewhere and sell the site in the future.
           
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          wrightie

          wrightieNew Member

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          • dan5

            dan5ModeratorStaff Member

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            Thank you for the map. It really puts it into perspective geographically. The whole area could have been pretty special.

            If we consider the university alone, they could have bunched up the campus a bit on the eastern edge of the wet dock... instead of the car park and space near the James Hehir building. Instead of a northern part to the campus near the Suffolk New College they could have located the car park there... and where 9 is on the map could have been the IWIC innovation centre and 8 could be the library etc.

            The previous concept for the wine rack would have boosted the area as would Eagle Wharf.