Car parking returns after Crown Street demolition

IPSWICH: Nearly 10 months after the town’s largest multi-storey car park was closed because the building was unsafe, parking has returned to Crown Street.

The first 165 spaces at the new surface car park there opened at the weekend. A further 60 spaces are due to open by the end of the month.

The area will be left as a surface car park for the foreseeable future until further redevelopment options come forward for the site next to Crown Pools.

The area has reverted to its role before the multi-storey was built in 1974. The area had been a surface car park for many years.

The multi-storey car park had had problems for years. Within 10 years of its construction the first signs of “concrete cancer” with rust eating away at the reinforced concrete structure being detected.

Work was carried out to stabilise the building and it had to undergo regular checks to ensure it remained safe.

Last October one of these regular checks identified serious structural problems with the building.

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The car park was shut immediately until a full survey could be undertaken. That revealed that the structure had deteriorated seriously and could no longer be safely used. It was beyond economic repair.

Earlier this year the decision was taken to demolish the building, an operation that took three months from March to June, and use what had been the ground floor as a surface car park until the site could be redeveloped when the economy picks up.

The 225 spaces will provide a boost in the run-up to Christmas – last year’s closure was a blow to the town’s festive season.

n Is the new surface car park good news for the town? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail