Suffolk's 'worst' buildings revealed

THE “worst” buildings in Suffolk have been named and shamed today - and now you can vote for your least favourite.Suffolk Preservation Society launched its Worst of the East competition earlier in the summer and was inundated with dozens of nominations for buildings perceived as eyesores.

By Jonathan Barnes

THE “worst” buildings in Suffolk have been named and shamed today - and now you can vote for your least favourite.

Suffolk Preservation Society launched its Worst of the East competition earlier in the summer and was inundated with dozens of nominations for buildings perceived as eyesores.

Now, the watchdog, in its bid to root out poor design, has shortlisted the five buildings it believes are the county's worst.


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They include new Cineworld complex in Parkway, Bury St Edmunds and Ipswich Borough Council's new headquarters in Russell Road.

Other culprits include the KFC restaurant in Northern Road, Sudbury - recently described by the town's society as “basically a cube on top of a box with no architectural pretensions whatsoever” - Lowestoft's Belvedere Road Retail Park and a new block of flats in Woodbridge.

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Richard Ward, director of the Suffolk Preservation Society, said: “These are very different buildings, but what they all have in common is a total disregard for the basic principles of good and sympathetic design, with no obvious effort made to blend in with their surroundings.

“Good design has the ability to lift our spirits and make the environment a more enjoyable place for all of us.

“However, bad design can do the reverse and set a poor example to others. These buildings have been selected by the people of Suffolk and show their disappointment with what the development system has produced.

“We aim to present the architect (of the least favourite building) with the first Worst in the East award. Reflecting the nature of the issue, the award will be something suitably eye-catching!

“The society is fulsome in its praise for good design, but intends to shame those responsible for diluting the architectural distinctiveness of Suffolk.”

Members of the public can vote for their choice as Worst in the East by going to the society's website at www.suffolksociety.com and clicking on the competition link.

jonathan.barnes@eadt.co.uk

WORST IN THE EAST SHORTLIST (with SPS comments)

Cineworld, Bury St Edmunds

“Clutter barriers, huge advertising boards, a pokey dark entrance and car fumes welcome cinemagoers to this new building. This is a lost opportunity to demonstrate a really good example of modern architecture in an appropriate setting.”

KFC, Sudbury

“A standard, corporate design that has no regard to its surroundings. An important gateway into this delightful market town is marked with a weak and ugly building - dominated by the portrait of its founder!”

New Ipswich Borough Council offices

“A missed opportunity for the council and local planning authority to show to developers in the town how to produce first-class modern architecture. It fails to match the high standards achieved at Endeavour House.”

New housing/retail development, off The Thoroughfare, Woodbridge

“Adjoining and attached to the pretty and listed existing Woolworths, the dominating new building is out of scale with the conservation area in which it is located. It appears to be a hideous imitation of the Grade I listed Shire Hall on Market Hill and is a disgrace to Woodbridge.”

Belvedere Road Retail Park, Lowestoft

“A big box with tiny windows, adorned with features that purport to be in harmony with the riverside setting but in fact, the wavy roof line canopies look more like Concorde than any sea or river going vessel. Its ugliness perhaps explains why the building is still unoccupied!”

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