Rain

Rain

max temp: 3°C

min temp: 1°C

Search

Video/Gallery: Widespread welcome for Cornhill plans – but cool reception from Ipswich Society

PUBLISHED: 17:08 15 January 2014 | UPDATED: 17:08 15 January 2014

An architects impression of the proposed new look for Ipswich Cornhill

An architects impression of the proposed new look for Ipswich Cornhill

Archant

The new look for Ipswich Cornhill has been official unveiled with major changes from the original design outlined last year.

The winning design – by the Belfast architects’ practice Hall McKnight – was shown off yesterday.

Now all that is needed is £3.5 million to bring the vision to reality by the end of 2016!

The scheme would level a platform across the Cornhill linking the front of the Town Hall with the front of the old Post Office building – now Lloyds Bank.

The flat area would be flexible, with the opportunity for it to have a number of different uses – including market stalls.

A key feature of the design is a tower of light near the front of the Debenhams store.

Extending the new platform across the front of both the Town Hall and the old Post Office will need the formal closure of the top of Princes Street – Suffolk County Council is backing the scheme and is expected to bring forward the road closure orders in the near future.

The design was chosen unanimously by a panel drawn up from the borough and county councils, UCS, Ipswich Central, and MP Ben Gummer. They were advised by former Marks and Spencer boss Sir Stuart Rose who led calls for an improvement to the Cornhill at the Beacon Town conference in September 2012.

Borough council leader David Ellesmere said his authority had put aside a quarter of the cost of the work – about £800,000, and would be looking for contributions from the county council, government bodies, and the private sector through Ipswich Central.

He said: “There is some work to do there but there is a widespread acceptance that this scheme will improve the town centre and I hope we shall be able to raise the money within the next 18 months to two years.”

The work would probably take six months to complete – meaning the earliest the new Cornhill could be completed would be late 2016.

Ipswich MP Ben Gummer said: “In a sense the difficult part, raising the money, is still to come – but the fact that we were able to agree unanimously shows there is widespread support for this project to go ahead.”

He was “75% confident” that the money would be found: “In less than four years there has been £150 million invested in Ipswich. I would hope this would not be too difficult – it is vital to transform the town centre.”

The county council is still considering whether to put any money into the scheme – a statement pointed out that it is currently managing the £21 million Travel Ipswich project, even though only £2.5 million of that came from county funds, the bulk of it came from the Department for Transport.

While there was a widespread welcome at the official launch, one leading organisation in the town remains unconvinced by the plans.

John Norman, chairman of the Ipswich Society, said his members had strong views on the future of the Cornhill.

He said: “Personally I don’t have a problem with these plans. But we asked our members what they thought and the general feeling is that it would be a total waste of money.

“They feel that while the Cornhill might be looking a little tired after it was rebuilt in 1986, there are other areas of the town centre that could benefit much more from £3.5 million that this.”

He said the Society’s members felt the money would be better spent improving the Waterfront, improving the area around St Margaret’s Plain or sorting out the disused former Odeon cinema.

Related articles

Few of us can imagine what it feels like to be born in a body that you do not recognise as your own.

Police have launched an attempted murder investigation after a 17-year-old boy was stabbed in Osborne Street, Colchester, in the early hours of this morning.

A new road, which ran almost £5m over budget, faces fresh controversy after it emerged a council employee involved in the project also completed work for the road’s developers through his private company.

A damning dossier compiled by a senior whistleblower from the region’s ambulance trust has claimed at least 40 patients died or were harmed due to delays over Christmas and New Year - including one person who froze to death.

Emergency services were called to an incident in Stoke-by-Nayland where a car overturned and ended up on its roof.

A Suffolk family had the BBC’s DIY SOS team spend 10 days at their property in November.

Witham MP Priti Patel is urging schools in the region to take advantage of the opportunity to visit the infamous Holocaust concentration camp Auschwitz, as part of a nationwide programme to educate pupils of the atrocities.

Most read

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View

London Boat Show 2018

cover

Click here to view
London Boat
Show supplement

View

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24