Cornhill Redevelopment Planning Application Comments

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  • #3398 Score: 0
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    Various comments are now appearing since it was changed to FPI3.

    I have been invited to comment on the above location by the Ipswich Society.

    My objection is very straightforward. Can IBC show who owns the actual Cornhill routes and places? As they know who block paved the area (IBC or SCC) with public funds it is obviously a public right of way.

    It has probably been a right of way for hundreds of years as it has been used by the public without let or hindrance since the year dot without secrecy.

    There is no record of the RoW being extinguished so it must still be a RoW and therefore the responsibility of SCC.
    Peter Turtill

    I write to object to the proposed plan for the cornhill.
    I find it difficult to see any benefit at all. It certainly doesn’t benefit the market, and it will only hinder movement around the busiest part of the
    town. And the much vaunted platform (with fountains) will be unusable for four days a week when the market stalls are crammed onto it.
    Appreciating the aesthetics of a project like this is down to personal taste and will always be open to debate. I personally see nothing that is
    attractive in the proposals. And I certainly object to the removal of the well established trees in front of the former post office.
    However, my main concern is that this highly debatable project is going to cost £3m when public finances are under such pressure. There are
    many ways of spending £3m that would benefit the Ipswich community far more than this.
    And, there will be an ongoing cost for maintenance and upkeep which will be higher than at present. I would like to know what this cost is and what
    other service will suffer as a result of having its funding cut.
    I would appreciate it if you would put my views to the Planning Committee and also provide an answer to my questions concerning
    ongoing costs.
    Phil Manington

    Dear Sirs
    I am writing about the proposals for the Cornhill.
    I am afraid I think they are really poorly thought through, will encourage graffiti and actually make the Cornhill worse than it is. They are appalling in every respect; I simply cannot see anything good in them.
    Here are my specific objections:
    1. For a project such as this there really should be a public consultation 2. The cost seems extravagant
    and surely £3M could be put to far better use?
    3. Are you removing trees in front of the Post Office, if so why?
    4. The columns are bizarre. Not only do they look odd, mean nothing and are a throwback to the very
    worst of the 1960s, they will surely attract graffiti and/or be used as urinals for those in town late at
    night. They achieve nothing 5. Why do we need a platform? If this is going to be an entertainment
    venue? If so, why not use land at the Waterfront which would work so much better.
    6. The whole design is shocking and a similar effect could be achieved for under £10,000. Here is my
    idea: a simple circle of trees and wooden curved benches.
    Please can you re-consider this eyesore and save £3M. Ipswich has been blighted by appalling
    planning decisions in the past, the town deserves better and the Borough Council, for once, surely has to deliver
    something of truly high quality.
    Yours in hope,
    Peter Gray

    Dear Sirs
    I am writing to give my comments on the proposed alterations to the Cornhill.
    As far as I am aware you are never going to please all of the people all of the time. A large number of
    people in Ipswich are never satisfied and really do not realise what a lovely interesting town it is.
    Why not just get on with it now otherwise it will take another few years before anything happens.
    Personally I am happy with the new proposal but fail to see why this has to involve the market. Surely
    it would be better to have a designated area for this (which I would avoid) and I could never
    understand why it has to be placed in front of the town hall with all the associated smells and shouting
    it brings with it. If people want to go to the market then surely they will walk a few yards down the road if it is to be
    homed in Queen Street.
    Thanks for listening.
    Anita Curtis

    Leave things as they are and stop wasting money.

    Mr Hone
    I have looked at the new features of the Cornhill development.
    A feature of the Cornhill for me has been the contrasting Victorian styles of architecture. I fear the four
    columns would severely confuse and distract from this quite unusual feature.
    Additionally, I fear the only attraction of the columns would be the latest Graffiti to adorn the
    Kind regards
    David White

    Dear Mr. Hone,
    We have lived in Ipswich since 1970 and during this time have seen the market shifted from pillar to
    post and never as used and busy as now on the Cornhill. The area around the Cornhill is the hub of the
    town, and more than ever now that Iceland (St. Matthews Street) and the Co-operative department
    stores, for example have closed.
    Please repave the Cornhill, leave the market and do not put pillars which will be covered in graffiti;
    fountains would be nice but not at the expense of the market. Please be price concious – £3 million
    seems excessive to spend on this one area.
    I will be grateful if you would put our comments to the Planning Committee.
    Yours sincerely
    Chris and Wendy Brown (Ipswich Society members)

    Dear Mr Hone,
    I am concerned to see that the plans for the Cornhill “Improvements” include the provision of fountains.
    May I suggest that you speak to the planning department of Tendring District Council about the
    fountains installed in the centre of Clacton in front of Lloyds Bank some years ago. The fountains have
    been a never ending source of trouble for too many reasons to specify and in consequence a terrible
    waste of money: please do not make such an obvious mistake when dealing with the Cornhill.
    Yours faithfully,
    J. K. Bond

    As a long-standing Ipswich resident, and a member of the Ipswich Society, who uses the
    Cornhill almost on a daily basis, I have strong objections to the latest proposals for its
    These are, like those put forward previously, entirely unnecessary and ludicrously
    expensive. They are contrived and spurious; the fountains and the unattractive slabs
    (‘monoliths’) would soon loose their appeal, which rests entirely on novelty. They would spoil
    the amenity of the present Market.
    Please use your influence to get this pointless and wasteful exercise knocked on the head once
    and for all.
    Yours faithfully
    John Clough

    Spending money on the Ipswich Cornhill is pointless without
    considering the buildings surrounding it. One in particular ia a
    cause for concern; the Ex-Grimwade building. The present
    owners/lessees have clearly no interest in its appearance. They
    need to be persuaded that they have a duty of care of such a
    prominent building, not just in terms of public safety but also in
    public utility. The whole area needs to be brought into the
    decisions, not just the open space.
    There needs to be an open space with maximum utility for
    public use. The present trees are an essential but other fixtures
    only serve to constrict the use.
    Looking at other towns across the whole of Europe, it seems to
    me that the successful centre needs to ban the motor vehicle
    altogether, certainly between the hours of 10am and 4pm and
    that be enforced with bollards. Encourage the town centre shops
    to coordinate deliveries outside of those hours. It can and has
    been done.
    Encourage greenery, open air activities, markets, cafes and just
    make the area a pleasant place to be with the minimum of
    Just make sure the basics are in place for the people to do the
    Mike Neale

    #3403 Score: 0
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    thanks for the info, just read your representation as well. Most appropriate..

    I'm really quite cross now, so watch out!

    #3419 Score: 0
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    Application No 17/00235

    Dear Mr Hone,
    Having studied this Proposal, the only merit I can see in it compared with the earlier Proposal is that the proposed ramp running from Debenhams to the Cornhill Building has been cut out. Apart from this , I find little or no merit in the new proposal.

    The proposal ends up cluttering this wonderful open space with useless features such
    a. The celebratory columns which are totally out of character with this gem of a Victorian space
    b. The water feature is complicated and bound to be very difficult to run reliably. Again it is
    totally out of character.
    c. Taking existing trees away from the front of the old Post Office and putting in new trees in
    front of the old Grimwades Building is totally pointless.
    d. The strange stone fixed bench type features restrict the open space and will only attract
    e. The present Market fits very well in the present space and is very popular and well used.
    f. The entire exercise is a scandalous waste of Public money which would be very much better
    spent on repairing hundreds of pot holes in the streets of Ipswich.
    g. If this useless project proceeds, it will cause huge disruption to the town Centre for a year or
    so and will greatly disrupt Economic activity in the Town just as there are
    tentative signs of recovery.

    In conclusion, I think that the entire plan should be completely scrapped as it has no
    merit whatsoever.
    Yours faithfully,
    Richard D Dewar

    #3420 Score: 0
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    Council leader David Ellesmere seemed upset/annoyed by challenging the authority for the designs to be approved behind closed doors before being revealed to the public considering the previous public consultation. (let’s not forget how different the rail station forecourt project has already turned out to the original design).

    I will hope to be at the committee. Our representation was kept simple and hopefully easily understood by residents and councillors alike.

    #3422 Score: 0
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    that last letter is another good one, pretty much sums up my feelings, I’ve not written, as prefer to keep my head down this time..

    as regards the Station works, did that actually get planning consent? Did they need it, they  certainly never published any proper plans as touched on elsewhere, and the work has now changed, so how do the deal with that as part of planning process?. I assume SCC used their own statutory powers to approve with no consultation.

    I'm really quite cross now, so watch out!

    #3424 Score: 0
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    Found out some interesting information…

    The reference is… 15/00736/RPD  (that is 2015)

    You never had a chance to respond. Network Rail made the application under:

    • Town and Country Planning Act 1990
    • Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2005- Part 18
    • Ipswich and Bury Saint Edmunds Railways Act 1845
    • Railway Clauses consideration Act 1845 – section 16 “Permitted Development”

    Application was created on 07/08/2015 and GRANTED on 16/10/2015 with two light conditions “if possible”: a) more bicycle provision and b) more car parking for drop off and pick ups.

    Dear Mr Burgess,
    Application for Prior Approval under Part 18 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015: Redevelopment of Ipswich Forecourt
    We write to advise you that Network Rail intends to carry out the work specified in the attached documents to the forecourt of Ipswich Railway Station which are considered to fall under Part 18 of the General Permitted Development Order 2015 (GPDO).
    The description of the works is:
    “Alterations to station forecourt comprising parking reconfiguration, vehicular route reconfiguration, pedestrian footway alterations, landscaping and bus shelters.”
    Network Rail is planning to undertake development works to the station forecourt in the form of car park reconfiguration; the works form part of Suffolk County Council’s transport improvement scheme for the local area, which extends outside of the scope of this notification. The proposal will improve the existing vehicular circulation, pedestrian legibility, and car parking arrangement. The development incorporates vehicular one-way systems, taxi and passenger drop off points, a segregated bus lane, disabled car parking spaces, bus shelters and hard & soft landscaping. In terms of the design itself the project has received detailed feedback from an extensive list of stakeholders; from this feedback the design team have produced various reiterations. The final layout plan has been attached to this letter and a separate plan shows the extent of Network Rail’s land ownership. […]

    The proposed layout contains the notice saying it shouldn’t be shared with the public or press.

    Given the permitted development rights in relation to the railway and the public highway the
    local planning authority has little control over proposed works. Nonetheless, the local
    authority has been involved in discussions as one of the key stakeholders with regard to the
    redevelopment. In particular, SCC Highways and Network Rail have been advised with
    regard to the comments of IBC Urban Design and IBC Conservation and Design Advisory
    Panel with regard to detailed matters such as the design of the shelters, landscaping and the
    paving to be used. The design would broadly follow the approach taken with regard to the
    wider Travel Ipswich programme, particularly with regard to paving and landscaping.
    In considering the prior approval application there is a clear justification for the works in this
    location which are intended by Network Rail and SCC Highways to improve the appearance
    and layout of the station forecourt area. The only buildings involved in the proposed works
    would relate to the bus and taxi shelters. These shelters would be comparable to those
    recently installed in relation to the Tower Ramparts Bus Station and it is not considered that
    these buildings would injure the amenity of the neighbourhood in a manner that would
    warrant refusal of prior approval or provide the necessary justifications for any conditions. In
    these regards the proposal would be acceptable having regard to adopted and proposed policy

    The plans are completely different to the actual design and there is nothing anyone can do about it.

    #3425 Score: 0
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    I was shocked to find that the planned “slab seating” is going to be bench style (or so I saw one near the works today).

    The planning document snippets….

    Ipswich Railway Station Redevelopment Proposals

    The layout…

    Ipswich Train Station Forecourt Initial Plans

    Compare with the “public version”…

    Improvements to Ipswich Railway Station forecourt project artist impression

    Are they going to find cheaper bus and taxi shelters? Still no sign of shelters or RTPI screens.

    #3436 Score: 0
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    the plan and the pretty picture are not the same at all, and I imagine what’s now been done is different again, particularly the bit the general public can use for pick up and drop off, which is a disaster in my opinion, you need something you can flow through, not an area where people are constantly having to back in and turn around in. . It beggars belief that with something this significant they seem unable to publish a proper plan that’s accurate!

    Anyway, back on topic, has the Cornhill application been scheduled for a planning committee meeting yet? When it is can you share the committee report on here as it will make interesting reading, given the number of objectors the officers are going to struggle to make a good case for this getting an approval without some further changes.

    I'm really quite cross now, so watch out!

    #3441 Score: 0
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    Eight Week Target Date is 9th May 2017, so I would expect/assume it to reach committee in May or June. The nearest date currently scheduled would be Wednesday 31st May 2017 at 9.30am (they may create an afternoon session specifically for this application however). This could be delayed in relation to disputes… either legal technicalities or to push it through when people aren’t looking.

    I can reveal they have installed a railway sign in the middle of the pedestrian area and the planned seating concrete slab type has been installed (not the bench). This sign would look good with a glass/modern style building to go with it but looks out of place with the style of the railway station. The trees, the slab seating, the sign, the paving and the station don’t match. The new traffic lights look ugly too.

    #3444 Score: 0
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    Another detailed comment on the Cornhill Redevelopment

    Dear Mr Hone,

    Application No. 17/00235

    First of all, I would like to say how difficult it has been to find out what the Application
    entails as the Web site has been down for several days now, and the details of the
    Application has not been published in local Newspapers in its entirety Has this been deliberate, I

    I do not find the straight lines and modern features of the present proposals fit in in any
    way with the conserved buildings surrounding the Cornhill.
    The proposed raised platform with intermittent fountains set into the paving, is certainly not in keeping
    with the surrounding buildings and destroys the usefulness of the entire area.
    The present Market is well liked and used by the folk of Ipswich, and there is no reason why the
    Market should be divided up and made less convenient for the citizens of Ipswich to do their

    The other feature of this proposal is four enormous monoliths, which again are so ugly, and
    do not sit well in their ancient surroundings.

    What is the point of removing established trees from one area of the Cornhill, and planting new ones
    in another area close to the Fountain area where problems may be created by leaves falling
    on wet ground ?

    The concrete seats without backs which are proposed will again break up the area and do
    not provide comfortable seating especially for older people.

    The proposed cost for the Scheme is £3 Million. I cannot understand why we should be wasting this
    amount of money on a Scheme, which is unwanted by most people in Ipswich and is totally
    unnecessary, especially at a time when money is scarce. Why should we have unwanted badly
    designed development thrust upon us ?

    I have been a resident of Ipswich for the past 40 years, and I hope that the objections of the
    people of Ipswich will be properly considered, and that those who finally make the decision
    will be prepared to cancel the entire Application and use the £3 Million for more useful and deserving

    Yours faithfully,

    Flora M. Dewar

    #3468 Score: 0
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    According to Ipswich Society’s April 2017 newsletter (“planning matters” section)…

    Cornhill. The Commissioning Group for the revision of the Cornhill received two thousand comments, the majority unsupportive of their proposals; it has realigned the brief to the architects. Their latest iteration will be put forward for a further consultation around the time you read this. We think that the changes may be acceptable to those who feel that physical changes are necessary to make the space more welcoming; they will remain unacceptable to those who feel public money should not be spent on improving anything more tangible than the surface.

    Two thousand comments with a lot of non-support for the plans… without knowing the actual figures I wouldn’t want to speculate but this is at least one thousand (50/50 scenario which wouldn’t be a majority).

    #3469 Score: 0
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    Another objection…

    Possibly the council is looking for ways to regenerate the town centre but I don’t think the
    plans for changing the Cornhill will do it. I had not these plans for the £3 million
    redevelopment of the Cornhill until the Ipswich Society brought them to my attention. I think
    these plans are inappropriate and an unnecessary expense during this period of severe
    austerity where so Ipswich residents are struggling with money as the Ipswich Star often

    My personal opinion is that historically the Cornhill was left as an open space for
    local people to trade and congregate: that was its function. It may have been made more
    attractive in Tudor/Stuart times with Renaissance ideas for public squares and again during
    the Victorian Historical Revival where the Town Hall, corn exchange & post office were
    built in the Italianate style. There is a modern trend for clutter, whether it be gadgets, clothes,
    facebook, twitter, mp3s – why is there a need to erode this open public space by adding the
    clutter of raised platforms, fountains and celebratory columns?

    All of these will be obstacles to flow of people round the Cornhill and unnecessarily restrict the market size and make the
    space inflexible to cater for future demands (eg when crowds thronged because Ipswich won
    a Football Cup). I don’t think there has been enough consultation on these issues. The
    celebratory columns could be termed modern art, which is generally not appreciated by the
    majority of the Ipswich population; look at the response when the traditional living Christmas
    tree was replaced with a modern sculpture of stacked balls. (Ipswich Star reports that in
    response to public complaint a real tree will be back next year).

    I feel that any structures, such as seating should not be permanent builds but be removable if necessary. It would be
    nice to leave the existing trees in place too and concrete planters would be necessary
    nowadays to foil attempted acts of terrorism where lorries can plough into crowds. The
    existing red brick paving doesn’t work too well, for it is constantly covered in spots of lightgrey
    chewing gum that is costly to remove.

    If anything were done to the Cornhill, then a
    higher specification light stone paving could be used that would be easier to clean and doesn’t
    show the chewing gum so much. Hope you can understand my strong feelings on this subject
    and just wanted to express my objection.

    Adrian Howlett

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    Ipswich Society “planning” page (dated Jan 2017)…

    There were about 2000 replies to the Cornhill public consultation; we suspect 90% politely requesting different schemes (and a few unprintable). The proposers are now considering the next steps and we can only guess that they might draw up an alternative brief. An application for changing Grimwade’s store into a restaurant has been made but we understand that there are major difficulties with such a conversion. However, we are optimistic that a good use will be found for the site in due course.

    So they ignored the views of 1800 people (90% of respondents) and created alternative plans without public consultation?

    #3510 Score: 0
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    sponsored? only difference appears to be the post opens up in a new tab whereas other topics don’t? is adblocker blocking something?

    I'm really quite cross now, so watch out!

    #3512 Score: 0
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    Not at all, just a “sticky” post above all others on forum list. New tab for those who don’t right click new tab as it isn’t necessarily relevant to the specific forum area people are looking at. Sponsored… well not really, just topics people might be most interested in 😀

    #3521 Score: 0
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    ah ok I see..

    I'm really quite cross now, so watch out!

    #3537 Score: 0
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    Another representation… from Lucy Drake…

    Nature of Submission: Inform the Authority that you object to the Planning Application
    Clearly a vast amount of time, thought and resources have gone into this application and
    everything that went before it. But it seems to me that the concept was primarily about
    coming up with a good Design somewhat in the abstract, with its function, use and
    attractiveness to people (in the sense of making or improving the Cornhill a place to attract
    people for a purpose) being very secondary.

    The function and character of the Cornhill is, for
    4 days a week, 52 weeks of the year as a market square, which has survived remarkably well
    for the last 20 odd years and provided life, activity, vibrancy, colour, interest and a very good
    place to buy a range of low cost, good quality and good value items that you cant buy in this
    way anywhere else in the centre, especially fruit, veg, fish and bread, bicycle and home
    accessories, flowers, local eggs, luggage, fabric, and much more. I visit it twice a week,
    walking or cycling in and get most of my fresh stuff here, popping into a few other shops as
    well as the bank.

    It attracts a wide range of people of all ages and nationalities and incomes,
    which means it is great mixing pot, and makes good use of the whole square and bringing
    communities together. But the proposed scheme seems to offer nothing but an empty space
    with some odd levels, a water feature that will be in shadow most of the year and whose
    novelty will fade very quickly and some odd sculptures that bear little relationship to
    anything nearby and are of little intrinsic beauty.

    Overall the design will constrain the uses to which the Cornhill can be put and it will cease to be a destination for anything. Without
    people and a purpose throughout the year it will just be a large empty space in what has long
    been the heart of the town. It will no longer be a destination place, just somewhere to hurry
    through because there will be no reason to stop and spend time there after the first visit.

    Yes it could be improved with the paving kept cleaner, better seating and I like the night time
    lighting scheme. But I do think the money would be far better spent on other things around
    the town, supporting the existing shops and other businesses and enhancing the market

    Pushing the market down a side street would be disastrous and could kill it
    altogether. Ipswich would lose one of its best and most distinctive aspects and the reason a lot
    of people come into the town centre and spend money. I dont like shopping at supermarkets
    and losing the market with all the small local businesses it supports would be a tragedy.
    Please wake up and think hard about the people and place, not just about the design. If it
    doesnt work for people, and a wide range and number of people, primarily Ipswich residents,
    I fear it will not work at all and be a sad, empty and soulless place.

    Give Ipswich a heart, dont take it away.

    I quite agree… ” Give Ipswich a heart, don’t take it away!


    #3619 Score: 0
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    No new comments to report as of yet.

    Closing date is this coming Monday. (24th)

    #3691 Score: 0
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    Final representation comment…

    Dear Mr Hone,

    Apologies for the late response. I have been busy with other matters.

    I have looked at the revised proposals for alterations to Cornhill, and we do not think that they are an improvement on the previous proposals.

    We suggest that they are rejected as not being a sufficient improvement to justify the cost; the money allocated should be used for another purpose.

    Our specific objections include:

    1. Cornhill is at its best when there is human activity (market days, Christmas lights, cycle race). The proposed changes (monoliths, fountains, terracing) do not encourage further human activity. What are people to do in the proposed space after they have looked at the introduced changes?

    2. The proposals appear to add to the ‘hardness’ of the existing Cornhill, a paved area surrounded by buildings. We understand that it is proposed to remove the two existing trees to provide a clearer view of the facade of the ‘Post Office’ building. Agreeable though that building is, many people also like to look at trees as they vary throughout the year, to enjoy their shade, and to notice how they soften and complement their surroundings. We would suggest that consideration is given to the possibility of adding further suitable trees in the square.

    3. The human aspect of the square would be enhanced by cafes with outside tables.  We recognise that there is a limit to the number of alimentary premises in the town centre, but we are surprised that the Council has not encouraged such a facility in this important central location.
    In summary, change is not the same as improvement. If the proposed arrangement is not widely accepted as better than the existing, don’t do it.

    Time spent getting the design right is a much better investment than time spent regretting hasty implementation.

    Ian Freeston

    #3800 Score: 0
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    Two new representations have since appeared online (I checked the following day after the deadline and none appeared, the department seems very slow and relaxed about adding them to the online system)…

    I dont think that it is disabled friendly because there are steps. The water feature is not
    suitable for the area. 3.5 Million could be better spent somewhere else

    Mrs Swale


    Dear Mr Hone

    I do not think it is a good use of public money to spend £3 million (or whatever the latest figure is) on
    “improving” the Cornhill.

    In my opinion the amended plans still reduce the space available to the market stalls and still include
    obstructions eg steps which will impede movement across the space. I am dismayed by the proposal
    of the wanton destruction of two perfectly good trees outside the old Post Office building. I can see
    that new trees are planned on the other side of the Cornhill, but, as we all know from bitter
    experience, newly-planted trees do not do well in town centres. It is far better to leave mature trees

    I do not think the fountain/monolith construction proposed for the centre of the Cornhill is at all
    sympathetic to the surrounding architecture and will probably become a non-working eyesore covered
    in graffiti within a short space of time!

    Why not just plant a suitable large tree in the centre with a circular seat round the trunk for all to

    Surely the money could be better spent on encouraging people to walk down to the Waterfront area
    by buying the land in the central island where the medieval churches stand and turning it into a
    pleasant park and play space for children. Trees and shrubs planted within the area will reduce the
    noise and, more significantly, the pollution created by traffic in that area, an issue of current great
    concern to IBC and the general public alike.

    Yours sincerely


    Maggie Dooley

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