Let's make the Waterfront a real community

IPSWICH'S burgeoning Waterfront has created gated developments with no sense of community and few facilities for people to enjoy.That was the view today of one of the organisers of a community day being organised to try to bring the residents of the plush waters-edge developments together.

IPSWICH'S burgeoning Waterfront has created gated developments with no sense of community and few facilities for people to enjoy.

That was the view today of one of the organisers of a community day being organised to try to bring the residents of the plush waters-edge developments together.

Jay Harvey, the administrator of the Waterfront Community Group, said there was a feeling that the high-security nature of the developments had led to residents retreating into their homes at night, with little interaction and no sense of belonging.

“All the Waterfront seems to be is blocks and blocks of flats and everyone lives in gated communities,” he said.

“People live in these gated communities and they don't know what's going on.”

In an attempt to create a sense of togetherness, the community group has joined with Ipswich Borough Council to organise the first Waterfront Community Day.

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The April 19 event will bring together residents and those who work at the Waterfront. There will be free activities, 30 stalls, local food for sampling and live music.

Mr Harvey said: “We've got various activities to try to find out what people like about the Waterfront, the things they like least about the Waterfront and the things they would like the Waterfront to have.

“And we're hoping to find out who actually lives on the Waterfront. We're working with people like BT who have a lot of workers who come to live here for a year.

“The army in Woodbridge have also got people who live in the flats as well. They've got quite a few of their junior officers living there.”

In total, 2,300 new homes are being built in place of Ipswich's old industrial dock. Construction of a handful of the developments is complete and several hundred tenants are already calling the Waterfront home but many of the developments are still under construction.

“And there's nowhere for people just to sit and even just wander around and there's no toilets so it's not encouraging people to come down to the Waterfront,” Mr Harvey said.

“We're hoping we'll be able to get residents' associations going to try to get people doing things together.”

A spokesman for Ipswich Borough Council said: “This event is very important as it will help to provide a focus for the community on the Waterfront. Obviously, with all the exciting developments there is a great deal of change but people make places and bringing people together is our aim.”

Do you live at the Waterfront? Has it met your expectations? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Waterfront Community Day:

The event, from noon until 5pm, will have a pirate theme with face painting, crafts, sideshows and free refreshments courtesy of Suffolk New College.

There will be up to 30 stands from a range of local businesses, organisations and community groups.

There will also be recipes being showcased by Loch Fyne restaurant, Bistro at the Quay, Colours Continental Café and Coffee Link.

A prize draw is another highlight, with prizes including a box at a Regent Theatre show, a trip on the Orwell Lady, Sunday roast at the Steamboat Tavern and free tickets to Red Rose Chain's "Romeo & Juliet".

The event has been made possible by Ipswich Borough Council, Waterfront Churches, One-Ipswich, Suffolk County Council, ABP, BT and Ip-City Network.

It starts at noon and goes on until 5pm.

On Sunday, April 20 there will be a special Waterfront service at the Holy Trinity Church in Back Hamlet at 11am followed by a hog roast, activities and music.

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