Retail park named as ugliest building

A SHOPPING centre has been named as the worst building in Suffolk in an “ugly architecture” contest.The Suffolk Preservation Society, which promotes good architectural design, launched a Worst of the East competition in May to find what people thought was the ugliest building in the county.

By David Green

A SHOPPING centre has been named as the worst building in Suffolk in an “ugly architecture” contest.

The Suffolk Preservation Society, which promotes good architectural design, launched a Worst of the East competition in May to find what people thought was the ugliest building in the county.

The winner, announced yesterday, is the Belvedere Retail Park in Lowestoft which is owned by the supermarket giant, Asda, and is next to its store in the town.


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The building, which comprises retail units of various heights is made out of a mixture of materials, was erected under a restrictive planning consent in the style of a “factory outlet” centre.

A total of 750 of the 2,084 votes cast in an online poll run by the society and BBC Radio Suffolk chose the building as the ugliest in Suffolk.

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However, it only just pipped the Cineworld complex in Bury St Edmunds which attracted 688 votes.

The Ipswich Borough Council offices came third with 417 votes. Fourth was the Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet in Newton Road, Sudbury (146 votes) and fifth a building in The Thoroughfare, Woodbridge (83 votes).

Richard Ward, Suffolk Preservation Society director, welcomed the high level of interest generated by the competition.

“This is a clear wake-up call to architects, planners and the owners of such buildings.

“Local people really do care what their environment looks like and they are not going to be easily impressed by some of the below par building inflicted upon them in recent years.

“It is time for everyone involved to raise their game.”

The society plans to present an “appropriate” award to the architect who designed the Lowestoft building.

Jennifer England, Asda spokeswoman, said: “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but all our customers agree that the everyday low prices you find at our store next door to the retail park are very attractive indeed.”

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