Petition against Buttermarket cinema proposals attracts 400 signatures from residents

The Buttermarket shopping centre , Ipswich.

The Buttermarket shopping centre , Ipswich. - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

A petition launched against proposals to turn the Buttermarket into a cinema and leisure complex has attracted hundreds of backers.

The petition, launched on the website has so far attracted 425 signatures, with campaigners hoping for more who oppose the plans to sign up.

Jo Wyard, 42, who started the petition, said: “After seeing that the Buttermarket was going to be turned into a 16-screen cinema with a food court and gym, I voiced my opinion on a social media site as to whether we need another cinema. Ipswich already has an 11-screen cinema, surrounded by restaurants and several gyms nearby. I was amazed by the amount of people who agree, as well as the different views and ideas people have for what could be there instead.”

The petition has also called for a greater consultation with those in the community, to establish what residents want from their town centre.

Ms Wyard added: “The aim of the petition is for the council to seek the views of the people in their communities first before the development goes ahead, and if the views are not in favour, then to reconsider. But, most importantly, for them to begin seeking our views, allowing us to participate in things that directly affect us.”

Last week, plans for the cinema were given the go-ahead subject to conditions by the Ipswich Borough Council planning committee.

Ipswich MP Ben Gummer commented online that he hoped a private investor coming in would boost footfall in the centre, and create a demand for more shops, and hailed Ms Wyard’s passion for the town centre.

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He added: “I would be delighted to meet you and your petitioners to discuss this more, if you want – I am so pleased to see such passion for our town centre and what we can do to improve it.”

Paul Clement, from Ipswich Central, added: “The Buttermarket is a privately owned property and now in the ownership of a major investment company who have clearly done their homework in terms of what will work best there.

“They have clearly found that more of a leisure focus will prove more popular and more in demand from occupiers.”

To view or sign the petition, visit