Permission has been granted to continue the use of two Waterfront car parks despite concerns over air pollution. 

Ipswich Borough Council approved plans to extend the lease of the Orwell Quay car park in University Avenue for the next five years. 

The car park currently has 259 car parking spaces, 14 accessible parking spaces, 26 cycle spaces, and nine powered two-wheeler (PTW) spaces.  

Ipswich Star: Orwell Quay car park, Google EarthOrwell Quay car park, Google Earth (Image: Google Earth)

The approved plans include the removal of four existing car parking spaces, the installation of four EV charging bays, and the addition of two PTW spaces.   

The application to continue the use of staff and student-only car park near the Waterfront was also approved.

Ballast Wharf car park currently has 139 car parking spaces, six accessible parking spaces and four powered two-wheeler spots.  

Ipswich Star: Ballast Wharf car park, Google EarthBallast Wharf car park, Google Earth (Image: Google Earth)  

The new proposal has sought permission to install four electric vehicle charging bays after removing four existing car parking spaces to cater for this. 

Councillors who took part in the planning and development committee meeting pointed out the very low number of EV charging points that are to be installed. 

Speaking after the meeting, Councillor Oliver Holmes said: "I am very disappointed that the university made these applications.  

Ipswich Star:  Councillor Oliver Holmes, Ipswich Borough Council Councillor Oliver Holmes, Ipswich Borough Council (Image: Ipswich Borough Council)

“They talk a good game on sustainability, reducing carbon and traffic emissions, but when an opportunity for cheap parking comes along, all these pieties go straight out of the window.  

“Both car parks are very close to the Air Quality Management Area in the Star Lane gyratory system, where there is very poor air quality. The temporary applications should have been refused." 

Tony Horner of Ipswich CAN (Clean Air Now) added that Ipswich has been suffering from high levels of air pollution for a very long time, which was recognised by Suffolk Health and Wellbeing Board.    

Ipswich Star: Tony Horner of Ipswich CAN, Tony HornerTony Horner of Ipswich CAN, Tony Horner (Image: Tony Horner) 

Mr Horner added: “Representing Ipswich Borough Council, John Cook made it clear that traffic was causing the problem, and making it easier to park in town will just make the problem worse. 

“Why has Ipswich fallen so far behind?  Is it money, or do they just not care? Talk won’t save lives.” 

The plans were approved by the planning committee on Wednesday.