A community leader has spoken of his hopes to see housing which fits with the surrounding historic buildings on plot of land which is subject to a controversial planning application to continue as a car wash.

Ipswich borough councillor for St Margaret's ward, Oliver Holmes, has said he hopes to see new housing built in 19 St Margaret's Plain.

The site has most recently been used as a car wash, something Mr Holmes has been in disagreement with.

Ipswich Star: Ipswich Borough Councillor Oliver Holmes outside the controversial car washIpswich Borough Councillor Oliver Holmes outside the controversial car wash (Image: Newsquest)

The car wash was ordered to close in January but recently, a planning application was lodged to continue to use the site as a car wash for a further year.

 Mr Holmes said: "I was disappointed to hear that a new applicant was blatantly trying to continue the unlawful car wash use in this historic area of the town centre so soon after a planning appeal had been dismissed.

"I immediately contacted planning officers pointing out the legislation in place to prevent this type of repeat application.

Ipswich Star: Old Manor House opposite the siteOld Manor House opposite the site (Image: Newsquest)

"As a result, I understand officers contacted the applicant and he has agreed to completely withdraw the application.

"Hopefully the unlawful use will now stop without further delay and the site will be tidied up prior to a housing scheme coming forward."

The site is allocated for use of housing as part of the local plan, which was agreed to in 2022.

The space is suitable for nine houses.

Ipswich Star: A plaque on the site to show its historic significanceA plaque on the site to show its historic significance (Image: Newsquest)

He added: "I would like to see a development that fully engages with the surrounding historic buildings and fills in the gap in the street frontages."

This area of Ipswich is one of the most historic in the town, with Margaret Catchpoll living in the Old Manor House opposite the site, and the Green being used by Viking settlers as a meeting place as it was just outside the town walls.

Mr Holmes added: "Nearly every building surrounding the site, including the Grade I listed church, St Margaret's, dominating the area, is listed by Heritage England.

"New housing which complimented these heritage assets would be ideal."

Ipswich Star: Councillor Oliver HolmesCouncillor Oliver Holmes (Image: Newsquest)