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Ipswich to get £5m prefab – to park 500 cars

17:36 01 February 2016

David Ellesmere in Crown Car Park

David Ellesmere in Crown Car Park

Ipswich council is set to spend £5million on a new prefabricated Crown multi-storey car park.

Two new levels will be built on just over half the existing surface car park – creating a 400/500-space multi-storey with a further 100 spaces on the surface in the High Street side of the site.

The structure would be created from prefabricated sections that would be built in a factory and assembled on site – and the news has been welcomed by the team behind the new Sailmakers shopping centre.

It would be expected to have a life of 40 years – which is actually five years longer than the “permanent” multi-storey lasted on the site before it had to be demolished in 2009 because of structural problems.

The borough council’s executive committee is expected to give its approval to the proposal at its meeting next Tuesday. If it gets the go-ahead the park will be ordered within a few months and the parts fabricated ready to be assembled in a year’s time.

Work assembling the park would start in February and would be expected to take about 20 weeks – allowing it to open during the summer of 2017, well before the Christmas season.

Ipswich Council leader David Ellesmere said the proposal was a compromise between the council’s original two options – a single-tier prefrabricated platform over the existing park costing £3.5m and providing just under 500 spaces, or a traditionally-built four-storey park for 900 vehicles costing £10m.

He said: “We could not make the traditional car park stack up financially and this proposal is a very good compromise.

“It will be a very high-quality park with security lighting, power points for electric vehicles and modern payment machines meaning you won’t have to carry loads of cash.”

Mr Ellesmere said the pedestrian entrance to the park would be improved – the tunnel next to Crown Pools would be swept away – and he hoped that there could be new signs directing drivers to the park.

Senior councillors had visited a similar car park currently being built at Rose Lane in Norwich and were impressed by the way it was coming together.

The news of the new park was welcomed by Ipswich Central, which represents retailers and other businesses in the heart of the town.

Its chief executive Paul Clement said: “New and better car parking is important to improving the town centre. This is good news, another step towards achieving the Vision for Ipswich.”

A spokesman for Sailmakers Shopping Centre – formerly Tower Ramparts – said: “The proposal for a new car park with increased capacity is great news for the town at a time when Ipswich is undergoing an exciting period of growth and development.

“We are pleased with Ipswich Borough Council’s plans for a new car park serving this area of the town centre and we know there is significant demand for parking here.

“The redevelopment of Sailmakers Shopping Centre and other initiatives are making Ipswich an increasingly attractive place to visit and we need the infrastructure to make the town more accessible and car parking is an important part of that.”

They have prepared an artists impression showing the possible new pedestrian entrance to the car park.

18 comments

  • The Ginge- have to agree with you on this one. I think the important thing to take from this is that we could have 500 parking spaces in town within a relatively short time frame. A 40-year design life isn't really an issue, the fact it is a 'pre-fab' isn't really an issue. In fact, construction should be moving towards more off-site fabrication to become more efficient. It doesn't have to mean it is lower quality. Also, many commercial and industrial buildings are constructed with a maximum of a 40-year design life. Talking of congestion- the REAL issue here is that there are more cars on the road year on year and one of the qualities of Ipswich is also a hindrance- its historic road structure. Travel Ipswich clearly hasn't helped with this...yet...and as I have said before, let's wait till it is completely finished and the much-hyped Traffic Management System is up and running as it should. I am dubious at best it will make much of a difference, but time will tell.

    Report this comment

    IpswichBristol

    Wednesday, February 3, 2016

  • Oh dear, Oh dear. Some of the comments on this page. Firstly whilst described as Temporay, or not permanent it is, it will last longer than the last multistorey there and it will outlast the buildings around it such as Crown house and the Swimming pool building all of which will need multi million pouns rebuilds if they are to keep going for over 40 more years. Secondly to build something that size that would last for hundreds of years would be an immense brick structure, costing tens if not a hundred million pound. Built for 5 million is cheap and replace rather than refurb when needed. Any modern building with a life expentancy over 35yrs is doing very well. Its ugly ? Well its hidden behind office blocks and will not look much differant to the Railway Station Carpark when complete. Difficult to get too. Well not really if you come from the NW or North Ipswich or any of the villages such as Tuddenham, Westerfield etc etc than come on to Colchester Rd. You drop down Henly Rd, Funerou Rd straight in to it. If you come from the south of the Town you are supposed to use the Co-Op or Woolworths Carparks or the Multi Storey. If you come down London Rd you have the Spiral or the huge carpark on Portman Rd or the new carparks going in next to the Wolsey. Ipswich has compared to Colchester and Norwich more carparking at better prices. As to the congestion on Crown St. Well from Bramford Rd and Norwich Rd junction to Grimwade St peeling of Woodbridge Rd which is about a mile you have 11 sets of lights. That is the problem. Travel Ipswich and both IBC & SCC's local plans has the aim of cutting car travel by 40 percent that is at odds with what IBC have realised that the town needs more Cars to generate trade for shops and offices. So lobby your local councillors to back a change to the local plan and erase the stupid commitment to that reduction which just can not work in a Town that has no tram or Subway system and a large rural hinterland. Over the last 30 years the plan has always been to relocate office space to Ransomes Euro Park rather than the Town Centre. Look at all the offices up in that what was supposed to be Industrial Estate. Now the push is to fill the new and existing office space in the Town Centre so more carparking is needed.

    Report this comment

    The Ginge

    Wednesday, February 3, 2016

  • I do have one problem with this as it really is a temporary fixture, could it not give rise to many temporary structures being allowed in the town.. whats to stop others putting them up all over the town to increase their parking ..lets take the ncp car park at tower ramparts could they install one there ? on a business front it would be hard for the council to object as they would just have installed one ..but it sure would look ugly there...its only a question that I am raising and I am happy to be corrected as i know crown street might have to go through planning laws to have the new car park sorted but it does raise lots of questions on temporary structures ..

    Report this comment

    deeber

    Wednesday, February 3, 2016

  • "The 40-year lifespan does not seem unreasonable. " Oh it most certainly is very unreasonable! Good heavens, most towns and cities are still using brick lined sewers built 150 years ago. Houses built by IBC in the 1930s (Whitton, Gainsborough) exchange hands these days for over £160K. Furniture crafted in the 1700s sell in antique shops for hundreds of pounds. Only a profligate council with no consideration for the future would entertain a deal with a pathetic 40 year guarantee.

    Report this comment

    Steve Blake

    Tuesday, February 2, 2016

  • It is a great shame they didn't build this elsewhere. It ticks the boxes for "Tower Ramparts", the Ipswich Museum and Crown Pools, but I personally think a £5m prefab car park would have been better positioned in Portman Road which would drive further economical benefits to the area linking up with the Princes Street office corridor, Westgate Square development, Cornhill redevelopment (if or when it happens), and also not too far from The Saints indie shops, waterfront and Buttermarket leisure complex. It would help develop the area near the old court and police station too. The free shuttle bus could also be incorporated into picking up people from this car park into town (not far walk but people are lazy). The problem with Ipswich Vision Group and Ipswich Central is its not equal - Sailmakers, M&S and Debenhams are bullying their way, it is very tricky as M&S and Debenhams are doing rather well at the moment... if business improves, competitors will open up in the town and decrease their monopoly in their markets. So a better town centre isn't necessarily healthy for their business. It is a shame that IBC cannot look outside the box.

    Report this comment

    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Tuesday, February 2, 2016

  • The point about the delay in approvingorderingbuilding the car park is clear. Once approved (and it will be) the council must (by law) go through competition rules and put the order out to tender to ensure it gets the best deal - even though there are only one or two businesses who make prefab car parks. That process takes a two or three months. Then once a contractor is appointed the park has to be manufactured (off site). The parts will then be brought in next Feb and put together like a giant 3D jigsaw. It means that the Crown site will be closed for a much shorter time that it would have been for a traditional design. The 40-year lifespan does not seem unreasonable. The previous Crown car park was "permanent" but started to show signs of concrete cancer within a decade. It eventually lasted only 35 years.

    Report this comment

    Paul Geater

    Tuesday, February 2, 2016

  • There are buildings still standing after 200 years and yet we can not build a car park with a reasonable shelf life of 40 years ? A good car park if you live in North Ipswich and drive down Henley Road. Possibly the most awkward car park to get to through the back streets of Ipswich or coming in from Norwich Rd and Crown Street. Unless there is an entrance and exit to this car park in CROWN STREET I can not understand the rebuilding of this concrete monstrosity. (The only tunnel needed is one under the road so you can drive from Norwich Rd to Woodbridge Rd.)

    Report this comment

    chantry

    Tuesday, February 2, 2016

  • "you won't have to carry loads of cash". Is that an indication of how much it's going to cost to park there? Also, how many traffic lights are included in this plan?

    Report this comment

    Fill-a-stein

    Tuesday, February 2, 2016

  • I think that this is good news if only to stop people moaning on here about the lack of parking in Ipswich. What is interesting is that the article says that if approved next Tuesday the park will be ordered within months, work will start in February, be completed in 20 weeks ready to open Summer 2017. A tad confusing this, as it will not be ordered for months and why is that? , but work will start in February and finished in 20 weeks, say end July 2016.

    Report this comment

    how'd the town do

    Tuesday, February 2, 2016

  • Hope its built before they close the Parks and Ride sites.

    Report this comment

    Tone the moan

    Monday, February 1, 2016

  • I'll park my clown car there unless I'm travelling by unicycle that day

    Report this comment

    The Clown

    Monday, February 1, 2016

  • I think this is a sensible decision but Adrian Day, as you say the town is dependent on cars being able to access the town centre easily. This is the exact opposite of the Travel Ipswich scheme which aims to make it easier for pedestrians, cyclists and buses and which has shamelessly been branded a success, with more lights to come! The next shambles will be the station, specifically designed to deter car users. It will just cause chaos especially at evening pick up times. The 'brains' behind Travel Ipswich think you can force people out of their cars. In reality they just drive elsewhere to shop.

    Report this comment

    McLean

    Monday, February 1, 2016

  • Improving the parking in Ipswich Town Centre is absolutely vital to help in its long term development future. The current situation is extremely poor and poses a high risk as many car parks which are full on a daily basis are just temporary sites which will almost certainly be sold for development. How anyone can say it's a waste of money is slightly strange. The town centre needs investment and as we do not have the public transport links that a major city has we are dependent on car drivers being able to access the centre easily.

    Report this comment

    Adrian Day

    Monday, February 1, 2016

  • I doubt this will be a very aesthetically pleasing addition to this part of the town but rather more worryingly is that the builders and the Council seem to think it will only last 40 years. Is the type of concretesteel structure deliberately being constructed with built-in obsolescence? That is not good value for money, not that I expect I will be using it myself in 40 years time.

    Report this comment

    Steve Blake

    Monday, February 1, 2016

  • Half way house again and not what the star originally quoted... still it's better than nothing and perhaps Ipswich hospital could buy one of these as they make £1.5 million each on their car parks.(national paper quoted this)... it would take just over three years to recoup the costs and solve the nightmare parking at the heath road site.

    Report this comment

    deeber

    Monday, February 1, 2016

  • What an amazing waste of money

    Report this comment

    Fruitgum

    Monday, February 1, 2016

  • That will be nice we can over pay to park there while we walk down to a town full of empty shops nice one thanks

    Report this comment

    Steve Cotterell

    Monday, February 1, 2016

  • Nice to see as part of the plans that the tunnel will be removed as that will open the space up and make that area more brighter. I just hope they don't put the prices up but I think that is going to happen considering how much it is going to cost.

    Report this comment

    john

    Monday, February 1, 2016

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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