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Which unusual Ipswich buildings are joining the list of special interest structures?

PUBLISHED: 05:30 03 September 2020

The sports dome at Inspire Suffolk is among two to be included in the Local List in 2020. Picture: GREGG BROWN

The sports dome at Inspire Suffolk is among two to be included in the Local List in 2020. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Pubs, churches, sports domes and even a bus stop are among 54 structures in Ipswich set to be added to the list of local buildings of special interest.

The renovations at St Augustines church have now been completed.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNThe renovations at St Augustines church have now been completed. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Ipswich Borough Council’s Local List was drawn up in 2013 to recognise buildings and structures in the town with historic or architectural merit which do not qualify for formal Listing by Historic England.

This year, 54 new additions to the list are to be considered, and while most are residential homes there are plenty of other prominent public structures.

Outlined below are some of the most unusual.

The Civic Drive Spiral Car Park in Ipswich is among the new additions set for the Local List. Picture: ARCHANTThe Civic Drive Spiral Car Park in Ipswich is among the new additions set for the Local List. Picture: ARCHANT

Civic Drive Spiral Car Park

The car park, built between 1964 and 1967, is loved and hated in equal measure in the town, but is considered to have architectural value with an “interesting approach to provide car parking”.

The car park also contrasts to more traditional multi-storey complexes, according to the Local List report.

The Mulberry Tree, Ipswich The Mulberry Tree, Ipswich

Nacton Road bus shelter

While there is, of course, more than one bus stop in Nacton Road, the mid-20th Century bus shelter at the junction of Clapgate Lane is a little more eye-catching than most.

It was built among the housebuilding boom of the inter-war years to serve the growing community in east Ipswich, and is cited for inclusion on the 2020 Local List for its “distinctive design” and “landmark value”.

Constantine House in Ipswich is joining the Local List in 2020. Picture: JASON NOBLEConstantine House in Ipswich is joining the Local List in 2020. Picture: JASON NOBLE

Sports domes

Two sports domes are proposed for inclusion in 2020.

They were a more common sight during the 1960s and 1970s when architect Birkin Haward designed a series of domes across schools in Ipswich for sports use.

Dale Hall Community Primary School is among those to still have one, and is the first of Haward’s domes to be constructed in the town in 1967.

Corporation Avenue railway bridge is to be recognised in the Local List for Ipswich.  Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDCorporation Avenue railway bridge is to be recognised in the Local List for Ipswich. Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

The dome at Inspire Suffolk is also up for inclusion, having first served as a sports hall for Nacton Heath Secondary School.

Both are deemed to be “contributing to a distinctive architectural language of sport and recreation in Ipswich in the 20th Century”.

Corporation Avenue Railway Bridge

Nacton road bus shelter  Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDNacton road bus shelter Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

For those familiar with the Bourne Park area of Ipswich, the 19th Century buff brick arch will be a prominent landmark.

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The Local List said: “The highly decorative appearance of the bridge shows the pride in transport infrastructure which was so prevalent in the 19th Century, with progress in engineering being celebrated by ensuring structures were prominent and architecturally detailed.”

Constantine House, Constantine Road

The Local List said Constantine House is included for “historic interest as a relic associated with the industrial history of the town and approaches to early 20th Century public transport.”

Dating back to the 1920s, the Constantine House range was built to provide power to the trolleybus network which replaced the trams.

Today it is an office complex, but still contains reminders of its transport past.

Pubs

This year there is a drive to recognise some of the town’s favourite pubs – both past and present.

The Mulberry Tree may be closed to drinkers but is getting a new lease of life as a mosque, while other pubs for inclusion are The Station Hotel; The Gardener’s Arms; The Earl Kitchener; The Inkerman; and The Man on the Moon.

Churches

Several churches are also due for inclusion this year, including St Augustine’s Church; St Francis Church and St Mary Magdalene Church.

Councillor Carole Jones, portfolio holder for planning and museums at the council, said: “It’s a celebration of what Ipswich residents value which might not be appreciated at a national level but are buildings valued by us.

“It’s our opportunity as a council to help people keep and celebrate these buildings.

“Some live in what they consider quite an ordinary road with quite an ordinary school but they are not ordinary – they are somewhere with a little history, a significance, and they are local.”

While the Local List does not give any statutory protection for buildings outside of formal Listing or Conservation Areas, planners must consider the character of those buildings on any application which comes forward, and in the past has helped prevent unsuitable renovations.

On Tuesday next week, the executive committee is set to agree to an eight week public consultation on the revised list, which will return for a final decision by councillors later in the year.

Mike Cook and the Ipswich Society have helped submit nominations alongside members of the public for inclusion this year, and while 54 new properties are set to be added 16 are set to come off the list.

Some of those, such as Rushmere Primary and Sprites Lane Junior schools, are being removed because they now have Grade II Listing which gives them greater protection than the Local List, while others are now in the extended Burlington Road Conservation Area.

However, one, the former Rose and Crown pub in Norwich Road, is being removed because it has been demolished.

It followed issues which arose in November 2017 when building work there to turn it into a Kurdish centre was found to have left the building on the brink of collapse.


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