Ipswich: Second eyesore due to be cleared as derelict properties on Upper Orwell Street face demolition

Old buildings have been demolished in Upper Orwell Street, Ipswich. Old buildings have been demolished in Upper Orwell Street, Ipswich.

Friday, June 6, 2014
8:02 AM

An eyesore street full of derelict properties in Ipswich is set to be reinvented with a new green space in the heart of the town.

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NCP are funding the demolition of five properties between numbers 34 and 44 on Upper Orwell Street to make way for the new landscaped area.

The eyesore site is the second in Ipswich that is due to be cleared after it was revealed yesterday that the notorious Block A of the Regatta Quay complex, known as the ‘wine rack’, has been sold.

It is hoped that the new development combined with the restoration of St Michael’s Church will signal the beginning of a transformation of the beleaguered street.

Once the properties are demolished Ipswich Borough Council will create the new landscaped area.

However the new space is only planned as an interim measure pending further building on the site.

The move has been made possible after a development agreement for the ‘mint quarter’ came to an end.

The agreement, involving a number of retail properties belonging to NCP, would have resulted in a major retail complex within the town, however it has now ceased.

The process to agree on a new development has also involved Blackfriars association and Ipswich Central.

Last night Paul Clement, chief executive of Ipswich Central, welcomed the news but said the landscaping had to be completed as soon as possible, “so it doesn’t simply remain a fenced off building site.”

He added: “It’s long overdue but very much to be welcomed. It was an eyesore and the buildings were beyond their useful life, therefore it’s good that they’ve been cleared to make way for something new.”

Mark Kraft, NCP business manager said: “We are delighted that we are now able to significantly upgrade the look and feel of our local community.

“The site has been part of the development agreement but as that has concluded we are now in a position to demolish the derelict buildings and transform the area, which will be consistently maintained.

“We are looking forward to working with IBC on this project and hope the changes will be a well-received.”

A spokesman for Ipswich Borough Council said: “This partnership will help to create a much greener and more pleasant site in the Upper Orwell Street area.

“It has been part funded through the Central Area Committee and we are grateful for the support of NCP.”

24 comments

  • Now we could learn something from this - don't kick out small shopholders years before yet another marvelous council trumpeted development pulls out.

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    Sarky Sage

    Friday, June 6, 2014

  • And once again IBC bull doze another piece of IpswichSuffolk heritage. Due to the vibe in this part of town it will become our Lincoln Inn Field. You just watch.

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    Lee Davies

    Friday, June 6, 2014

  • There are loads of areas like this that could easily be tidied up alot quicker.........A little project like this and its being made into big fantastic news....... .

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    chantry

    Friday, June 6, 2014

  • @cynical Syd - it will be there for a few years, there's no proposal on the table at the moment but under the new local plan the site is ear-marked for housing with the suggestion they would recreate the original street pattern that existed there plus multistory carpark. I very much doubt any of this will happen for at least 5-10 years if at all

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    Scott Brock

    Friday, June 6, 2014

  • Thanks Elaine, I never knew that. Either way, it didn't happen but the waterfront certainly did

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    Scott Brock

    Friday, June 6, 2014

  • I thought the plan for a small green oasis a good one until I read that it is only an interim measure pending further development of the site when presumably this will disappear. Unless 'interim' means several years it seems rather pointless. There's far too much wanton vandalism of our countryside without creating something pleasant to concrete over in the near future.

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    Cynical Sid

    Friday, June 6, 2014

  • Sorry Scott, The Mint Quarter did get as far as planning, I went to the meetings. I started to smell a rat when the 'flagship companies' willing to take spaces in the development were QD & Clintons (at the time we had two Clinton stores in the town). Royg IBC can't extend their car park into the space NCP own it!

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    ElaineD17

    Friday, June 6, 2014

  • This is great move by the council, more deals like this should be done. I don't think you can every have too many green areas, they look nice even if you're just walking through them to get somewhere else. They don't all need to be big enough for a cricket pitch! like someone said below. This street has looked disgusting for years and is finally going to be cleaned up and people are still moaning!

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    RC

    Friday, June 6, 2014

  • Confusing article or what? The headline says "derelict properties, face demolition" But they have already gone, we already have a wasteland where they used to be and I thought the plan was announced to make that a green space before the demolition started a month or so ago. Old news, or just badly written news, you decide! But its certainly not new news..

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    mmm

    Friday, June 6, 2014

  • I haven't forgotten at all Ips, but the way you drone on about the dire state of things, it's as if John Lewis doesn't build on that land then it is IBC's fault or Ipswich Centrals fault, even though that part of town has been derelict for years, they are trying something, but obviously have limited options and limited funds. Maybe the reason JL went to Futura park and not the town centre was because they saw the pessimistic drivel on this site by a few and thought better of it, maybe if you were not so negative retailers might actually think positively about moving in...

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    Tedbundy

    Friday, June 6, 2014

  • Well said Tedbundy, Scott Brock etc.... It's great to see the site will be tidied up.. Ipswich Entrepreneur and others, IBC do not own the Grafton Way site (owned by Tesco) nor do they own the Upper Orwell Street site (owned by NCP). The council gets blamed for everything but does not have the power to click it's fingers and do things on sites they do not own. They can only advise and even they have to abide by planning law. There have been suggestions to landscape the Grafton Way site and turn it into a pay and display car park. The land is owned by Tesco and still has planning permission on it making it unfeasible to pay what Tesco want for the site. I am sure IBC are as keen as we all are to have all these sites improved, but we live in a democratic society and we rely in the landowners to develop these sites sympathetically, and unless there's money in it for them "it ain't gonna happen"!!

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    TimPL

    Friday, June 6, 2014

  • I have been formally submitting solutions to the council for the last decade or so. Ipswich Star is very selective to what they publish and the lack of line breaks in comments makes any solution with substance (i.e. not a few words being very vague) difficult for many to read.

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    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Friday, June 6, 2014

  • Ted... how about an affordable car park? Why would they build a John Lewis? Did you forget there is already one built at Futura Park? Futura Park was solely because they didn't want to get involved in the town centre! A very wise move.

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    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Friday, June 6, 2014

  • Scott Brock

    Friday, June 6, 2014

  • Ips-Ent - What else are they supposed to do with it? at least they are trying to do something, your constant droning on here is tiresome, not only that, you don't ever actually come up with any solutions, regardless of hope feasible they are. The're hardly going to build a John Lewis on Upper Orwell Street are they? those building have been derelict for years so why not pull them down and make use of the space whatever it may be.

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    Tedbundy

    Friday, June 6, 2014

  • @Ips Ent - IBC shouldn't be using our money to demolish other people's buildings, let them pay for it! And anyway they can't just go round knocking down buildings they don't own. They did a deal with the owner that if they knocked the buildings down (as they would need to one day anyway) IBC would landscape and look after it. As for Bury? Well it had no shopping centre and it finally got one. Ipswich had two already which is probably the reason Mint Qtr never took off as someone else said. They're not making a big deal out of this, it's not some MAJOR tourist attraction or park, it's just tidying up a neglected area, something you amongst other's have been calling for? Now they do it they're damned again!

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    Scott Brock

    Friday, June 6, 2014

  • Except, the Grafton Way site should have been priority. As for this Upper Orwell Street area... The council wouldn't even demolish the buildings themselves. It does nothing for the town. ***** There is relatively few people who can benefit... both in terms of local residents, and no one is going to walk through Carr Street to get there when you can go to Christchurch Park! Well its a few minutes walk from the College so perhaps students can use it... oh wait, the college is next door to quite a nice park! ***** This defeatist council attitude is destroying the town... "oh, we couldn't have a nice new shopping centre, losing out to Bury St Edmunds who got a new one, I know what to do... lets create a micro-park that's isn't big enough for a cricket pitch!!" Its truly pathetic. I know you will disagree Scott and see this as negativity. The county town of Suffolk, secondary to Bury St Edmunds, has a council with a list of completed improvements in recent times being building a few new homes and landscaping a micro-park. This is what parish councils in villages do. It is totally laughable... yes, they have plans... plans for the Cornhill, plans for the Museum... just lacking the total funds needed to progress with the "plans"...

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    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Friday, June 6, 2014

  • Anyone with any sense would knock the whole street down and start again...

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    Chris Ward

    Friday, June 6, 2014

  • Many 'ordinary' people thought the 'Mint Quarter' would never be built; using the obvious logic that Ipswich was already over-subscribed with retail developments which were underused. It was a mint with a gaping hole. But I wonder if the acquisition of the car parks in that area by NCP was part of 'swaps' to facilitate the 'Mint Quarter' development and, if so, what was written into the contracts in the case of the development not proceeding.

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    Johnthebap

    Friday, June 6, 2014

  • royg, this green space is for the street drinkers to hang out... gets them away from the town centre... job done! ***** These silly "agreements" need to cease. The "Mint Quarter" shopping project had one anchor tenant very interested in taking the largest retail unit in the proposed shopping centre... it was Woolworths. Back in the day before it demerged from Kingfisher Group! These are how old the plans were. That was in 2001. Woolworths remained seldom interested unless other retailers are found for the project to go ahead. Woolworths died in early 2009 - on its deathbed in 2008. That was 5 years ago since it was certain the project wouldn't go ahead. They knew the project wouldn't go ahead before that, simply as no other retailers came forward to go in the new proposed shopping centre. It was all dragged out, Bury St Ed's state-of-the-art arc shopping centre opened slightly after Woolworths went - for some reason we had to hold on to our plans... rather than scrapping them. ***** The same silly plans is happening with the waterfront, buttermarket cinema conversion, etc. Neither is going to happen or be viable ****** HOW DO YOU SELL IPSWICH TOWN CENTRE TO SHOPPERS? First invest in it in order to fill it all with shops. Secondly, promote the 1.3 million square foot of retail space!!! ****** The inability to get the mint quarter done (or similar projects) has alienated the town... being on the mainline (unlike Bury St Eds) and connected with the A12 and A14 brings a big potential of shoppers. It really is a shame the university has encouraged a gold rush of apartment block building, over building a shopping centre or town centre remodelling (modern shops at bottom, flats above).

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    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Friday, June 6, 2014

  • @Citizen - huh? But the waterfront actually happened. It may not be finished but it exists. The Mint Quarter never got off the page - in fact it never even got as far as planning!

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    Scott Brock

    Friday, June 6, 2014

  • @Royg - it won't be semi-derelict when they knock the buildings down will it??? And i think a little green space is not unwelcome... it will improve the area. This is actually one of the few things IBC have got right working with a private developer to improve the landscape even if temporarily and I hope they do it on more sites, not having development hoardings and instead having green space would improve many sites and give something back to the community - The Tesco site on Grafton Way should be next!

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    Scott Brock

    Friday, June 6, 2014

  • Ah, the Mint Quarter development... the Waterfront of it's time, so much promised, so little delivered. Can we please have a bus service like the Waterfront to get us to and from the lovely landscaped area, they could have someone doing a commentary about what might have been there....

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    Citizen

    Friday, June 6, 2014

  • I think it would be better to extend the small car park next to it which is currently 1 pound an hour until they decide what to do with the space. Nobody is going to appreciate a green area stuck on the end of a semi derelict street and in the middle of a car park except the winos maybe. IBC never seem to get it right.

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    royg

    Friday, June 6, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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