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Ipswich: Work due to start soon on improving towns ugliest street - Upper Orwell Street

09:00 13 August 2014

The derelict site in Upper Orwell Street.

The derelict site in Upper Orwell Street.


For years it’s been one of the most unattractive streets in Ipswich – but work to improve the look of Upper Orwell Street is due to finally start next month.

A row of derelict shops and flats in the street was pulled down earlier this summer, and it is proposed to landscape the area to create an attractive garden-style area for the medium term – at least until the Cox Lane car park is redeveloped by owners NCP.

However there has been a delay in getting the work underway because of problems over the ownership of one of the walls that was exposed by the demolition.

Now that issue has been resolved, Ipswich Council is preparing to landscape and plant the area next month and into October.

Money to improve the area is coming from Ipswich Council’s Central Area Committee and chairman Julian Gibbs is relieved that work is finally being planned.

He said: “We had hoped to start landscaping as soon as the buildings were demolished but we had this issue over the wall that needed to be sorted out.

“That has been settled now so we should be able to get on with planting in the area in September or October.

“Once it is planted it should look better – and should be looking really good in spring next year.”

The row of shops and flats in Upper Orwell Street had not been occupied for many years.

The land had been due to be part of the proposed Mint Quarter development which would have included the former Woolworths’ building and possibly the former Co-op department store.

However that proposed development has never got under way and there are no immediate prospects for a major project on the site.

The new planted area is not necessarily seen as a long-term use for the land, but it is considered vital to improve the look of what has long been seen by many people as one of the least attractive roads in Ipswich town centre.


  • Agree with Steve and Pc plod's comments, at least I got to read them before the anti local mod removes them.

    Report this comment

    C Smith

    Thursday, August 14, 2014

  • A nice wildflower park would be much better than a contentious and questionable place of worship. I think that the native wildflowers are better suited to growing over the derelict site than the unwelcome imposition of a "multifaith community hub" which is just a code phrase for a Muslim community centre, aka mosque. No doubt the Star mods will reject this submission with comment "other".

    Report this comment

    Steve Blake

    Wednesday, August 13, 2014

  • @mrs marie brame - As the properties in the street have a number of different owners, how can the council reduce the rents? Some of the properties are owned by NCP and the old Barnes Carpets is owned by a bank, who only bought it as a future investment while waiting for NCP to pull their finger out and develop the 'mint' - now 'skint' quarter. It's interesting to note that NCP paid for the demolition of theirs (and one of the borough's properties), but allegedly didn't have the money to pay for landscaping and would leave the area pretty much as it is now unless the Borough (ie you and me) could fund the landscaping. What contempt! In my opinion, NCP are responsible for the near total demise of what admittedly hasn't ever been the busiest of streets. Their shelved plans to build a massive shopping centre have left NCP with a large geographical area of premium central Ipswich land in their portfolio, including a number of shops that they, and other 'investors' are holding onto until they can sell the landbuilding for a nice profit. Many possibly don't care about getting tenants in their shops, as they have finance secured on them, creating finance for other investments. Property management costs money. It's time that the Council put pressure on property owners in the street to bring them back into use. Private developers and investors have a duty to maintain that investment. Allowing a street to fall in such a state may not affect their long term financial strategy, but ruins an area for the residents and businesses as is most definitely the case here. Our council has a duty to look after this town and hold property investors to account.

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    Mister Cynical

    Wednesday, August 13, 2014

  • Complete waste of time given the state of the whole road. It's the last place anyone in Ipswich wants to see landscaping. I would be more impressed if IBC told us they were going to put petty thieves to good use by doing community service there rather than the pathetic small fines they seem to get.

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    Chris D

    Wednesday, August 13, 2014

  • Please let's not forget the real losers here...the pigeons,where will they now go to deficiate?...oh that's right Norwich rd

    Report this comment

    had enough

    Wednesday, August 13, 2014

  • I was speaking with someone the other day who said Ipswich is looking rough, I said where do you like in Suffolk? you know all the areas he mentioned are majority conservative areas... doesn't this merely suggest the vision less Labour IBC are the reason our town looks so cr4p. Yes of course pass plans for council houses and minority group facilities, yet ignore the wider population who actually want their taxes spent on somewhere pleasant to live. I hate this council with a passion.

    Report this comment

    Rory Breaker

    Wednesday, August 13, 2014

  • It's be nice to see something done with the old Odeon and the old Suffolk County Council castle. They are right eyesores.

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    Wednesday, August 13, 2014

  • I bet they won't pull the old burnt out church down through fear of racial backlash. So what is the point in even trying to make our town look nice when we have to put up with things like this. I say the whole town needs a good clean up it is disgusting in most places.

    Report this comment


    Wednesday, August 13, 2014

  • That's not the ugliest street not by a country mile now take a walk over to London Road there's a few streets down there that should have won so I want a recount of the votes otherwise there's a fix going on.

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    Wednesday, August 13, 2014

  • What a lot of rubbish. If they lower the rents to the shops and cheaper car parking like in Subury you have got 2 hours of free parking and more people will come to Ipswich and shop. And also more good shops , not charity shops or cheap shops.

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    mrs marie brame

    Wednesday, August 13, 2014

  • Brilliant. Lets waste money on planting an area when 1 - Winter is coming and 2 - It is set to be redeveloped by owners NCP again anyway?!

    Report this comment


    Wednesday, August 13, 2014

  • Congratulations to Upper Orwell St, it faced extremely stiff competition to win that title.

    Report this comment

    Esco Fiasco

    Wednesday, August 13, 2014

  • It'll make a nice setting for the street drinkers.

    Report this comment

    David White

    Wednesday, August 13, 2014

  • A cautious "hurrah" - but there are still other derelict buildings on the street.

    Report this comment

    Baptist Trainfan

    Wednesday, August 13, 2014

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

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