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New paving on Ipswich Cornhill about to finish - but more work to come

PUBLISHED: 07:30 13 February 2020 | UPDATED: 12:01 13 February 2020

The paving work started on the Cornhill in November.  Picture: Neil Perry / Archant

The paving work started on the Cornhill in November. Picture: Neil Perry / Archant

Archant

Work to repave part of the Cornhill in the centre of Ipswich should be finished at the end of the week - but the final part of the safety programme will not be completed until the early summer.

The former garage in Princes Street, Ipswich. Picture: PAUL GEATERThe former garage in Princes Street, Ipswich. Picture: PAUL GEATER

The paving work started in November and has seen some paving slabs replaced by new tactile surfaces that should be safer for pedestrians and reduce the chance of anyone slipping near a step.

There will then be a lull until work starts to install new balustrades on the Cornhill and the Town Hall steps at the end of March. At the same time new permanent planters will be introduced.

These are again aimed to prevent pedestrians from tripping on the change of level.

The balustrades are currently being made at a specialist metal-working company and will need to be finished and installed in the spring. They will link in with the new planters which will be both decorative and have safety uses.

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Borough officials hope that the work will be completed by mid-June and should not cause any problem for the events planned for the Cornhill during the early summer.

The work all follows a report that was prepared for the borough following a number of accidents on the new Cornhill after it opened to the public at the end of 2018 - especially the tragic death of John Stow who died in hospital the day after falling down steps near the market in January last year.

Meanwhile the council is also preparing for the demolition of former garages in Princes Street to create a new temporary car park next month.

The garages were emptied at the end of last year and boarded up. Eventually the site is expected to be used for a new office block with retail units on the ground floor - however that is still expected to be several years away.

The temporary car park to be created there could replace the park that was created two years ago following the demolition of the Drum and Monkey pub. That site has been earmarked for a new budget hotel - but no planning application for it has yet come forward.

One area that could start to see some change is Arras Square. An architect is due to be appointed in March to draw up plans to repave the area - but work is not expected to start until the end of this year or early in 2021.

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