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Cornhill's cobbles said to bear 'no comparison' to artist's impression

PUBLISHED: 08:03 06 July 2018

An artist's impression showing the cobbles Picture: IPSWICH VISION

An artist's impression showing the cobbles Picture: IPSWICH VISION

Archant

Complaints about the new cobbles of Ipswich's £3.6million Cornhill development have prompted promises of a smoother surface.

New paving on the Ipswich Cornhill is said to be far less smooth than had been indicated Picture: ARCHANTNew paving on the Ipswich Cornhill is said to be far less smooth than had been indicated Picture: ARCHANT

The Cornhill cobbles have faced criticism since their unveiling, particularly from disabled people.

Work started earlier this year with ambitions to fuel the “renaissance” of Ipswich. However, the designs have divided opinion, while some called the project a waste of money.

Neil Garrod, who contacted this newspaper last month to complain about the surface, which he described as “abysmal”, has stepped up calls for Ipswich Borough Council to take action.

The mobility scooter rider sent council leader David Ellesmere two pictures of Cornhill – one showing an artist’s impression of the new paving and another of the actual surface.

Critics say the gaps between setts are too wide Picture: ARCHANTCritics say the gaps between setts are too wide Picture: ARCHANT

“I can see no comparison between the two,” he said. “The first actually looks quite attractive and would probably ride fairly well with a mobility scooter. The second looks very unattractive, could probably be done by a five year old and does not ride at all well with a mobility scooter.”

David Routh, who has lived in High Street since 1964, has also written to Ipswich MP Sandy Martin calling for help.

“As I am 89 years old and shuffle along instead of lifting my feet, I nearly tripped over twice, but luckily did not fall,” he wrote.

“In conversation with two of the stall holders, they are aware and feel this will cause a problem for high heels and trolleys.”

Ipswich Borough Council said disability groups had been satisfied with the materials prior to work beginning.

While acknowledged receiving a “small number” of complaints the council said there had also been “plenty of positive comments” about the improved appearance.

“We have listened to the complaints and are working with our contractor, local firm Brooks and Wood, to make future phases smoother by topping up the level of grout between the setts,” a council spokesman added.

“We have asked an equality panel representative to test a sample area of the new grout finish for us – all with the aim of ensuring an easier ride for people in wheelchairs and on mobility scooters.”

The council said it was confident the finished scheme would achieve its aims of an improved public space for residents and visitors to enjoy.

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