Colour clash as council gets ready to create new Elm Street car park

Old Ipswich police station site on Elm Street.

Old Ipswich police station site on Elm Street. - Credit: Gregg Brown

Work to create a new car park on the site of the former Ipswich police station in Elm Street is expected to start early next year if the project gets planning permission from the borough.

In the meantime the fence that was put up around the police station site is being repainted in a new cream colour – after the purple gates were felt to be too overpowering!

A spokesman for the council said: “Someone painted the gates purple because that used to be the corporate colour of the authority.

“But we haven’t used purple for several years, and to be honest it was so dark and forbidding that we stopped that as soon as it was noticed.

“The rest of the fence will be painted in cream, or magnolia if you prefer that description!”

He denied that the colour was changed because purple is the colour of UKIP: “We do have to be careful with colours these days – you can’t have red, blue, yellow, green or now purple.

“But this was a case of it just being too dark.”

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The fence was left on the site by demolition contractors RG Carter and will remain in place until the car park is opened, probably in the middle of next year.

There have been reports that it cost as much as £30,000, but the council spokesman said that figure was very wide of the mark. He said it cost well under half that amount – and once it had been dismantled in the middle of next year it would be put in storage and could be used on other sites across the town.

The car park, which will be next to the new temporary car park being created on the site of the former Civic Centre, is expected to be given planning permission to operate for up to five years in January.

That would be a boost for the town if – as expected – the Crown car park is out of action for several months either next year or in 2017 when a new floor or floors are built to return it into a multi-storey park.

Work on the Civic Centre car park is already under way and it could be in operation over the Christmas period.

It will be linked in with the surface car parks next to the New Wolsey Theatre and will have a new entrance built next to the entrance to the Civic Centre underground car park.