Flats plan for town centre

A DESOLATE patch of land in the centre of a town could soon be given a new lease of life.The scene of wilderness in Greyfriars Road, Ipswich, at the rear of the Cardinal Park complex, is set to be transformed with a block of flats and a pub.

A DESOLATE patch of land in the centre of a town could soon be given a new lease of life.

The scene of wilderness in Greyfriars Road, Ipswich, at the rear of the Cardinal Park complex, is set to be transformed with a block of flats and a pub.

The land has had a chequered planning history as a series of proposals being mooted to change it from an eyesore and unofficial dumping ground.

But now borough councillors are being asked to approve plans for 14 flats, with a new access road, and a pub or restaurant on the 0.6 hectare sire.


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Planners are advising them to give the plans the go-ahead subject to a flood risk assessment, prompted by concerns from the Environmen Agency.

Developers The Tannen Group have put forward plans for the building, which would be four-storeys high and would occupy most of the site as a rectangular shape. Car parking for 12 vehicles will also be located at ground floor level.

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The company also proposes to build a two-storey pub/restaurant on the site with parking for 11 cars.

However, following consultation with interested organisations, a number of concerns have been raised about the proposal for a pub, surrounding parking and servicing arrangements, and the potential for increased crime and disorder.

The site has been left cut-off, empty and unused for years after the realignment of Greyfriars Road, which left it as an "island" with all the roads around it.

Planning permission was granted for an office development in the 1980s and then in 1995, but they failed to advance further.

In 1989, archaeologists excavated the eastern half of the site and then in 1998 proposals for a golf shop were considered but again the plans stalled.

The site, which is located beyond the boundary of the central conservation area and opposite the Grade II* listed St Peter's Church, was also used as a temporary car park and the council received applications to use the island for long stay parking, but they were refused.

Planners served an enforcement notice in 2000 and demanded that the owners launched a clean-up operation so that the site could be tidied and cleared after it became a dumping ground for rubbish.

Most recently, plans for a restaurant or takeaway unit were lodged with the council this year but were later withdrawn.

A new development of flats at the site is considered "highly desirable", a council report says, as at the moment it detracts from the appearance of the area. The building would help turn it into a gateway for the area.

Councillors on the planning and development committee will hear recommendations on the proposal for the pub at the meeting, on Wednesday, after further consultation has been carried out.

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