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Demolition work to begin on Princes Street buildings

PUBLISHED: 07:30 05 June 2020

Ipswich Borough Council has secured planning permission to demolish the former garages in Princes Street to use as temporary car parks until permanent regeneration comes forward. Picture: ARCHANT

Ipswich Borough Council has secured planning permission to demolish the former garages in Princes Street to use as temporary car parks until permanent regeneration comes forward. Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

Plans for the demolition of garages in a key business district of Ipswich have been given the go-ahead, paving the way for a future £7million transformation of the area.

The site of the former Drum and Monkey pub is already operating as a temporary car park, with interest having been shown by a hotel chain prior to Covid-19 in developing the land. Picture: PAUL GEATERThe site of the former Drum and Monkey pub is already operating as a temporary car park, with interest having been shown by a hotel chain prior to Covid-19 in developing the land. Picture: PAUL GEATER

Ipswich Borough Council’s planning committee gave the green light for the authority to knock down the old Aspire Cars and Avanti Autos garages in Princes Street at its virtual planning meeting on Wednesday.

MORE: £7m Princes Street business corridor transformation plans unveiled

In the short term, those sites will be used as temporary car parks along with the old Drum and Monkey site, but have been eyed for a major £7m transformation in the Princes Street business corridor.

It emerged last year that a hotel chain were interested in the Drum and Monkey site, while an office block is expected on the garages site.

In its application the council said: “The building is in a poor state of repair and currently has a negative impact on the character and appearance of the immediate surrounding area.

Indicative images of what the new Portman Road multi-storey car park could look like, which Ipswich Borough Council is continuing to pursue. Picture: KLH ARCHITECTS/IPSWICH BOROUGH COUNCILIndicative images of what the new Portman Road multi-storey car park could look like, which Ipswich Borough Council is continuing to pursue. Picture: KLH ARCHITECTS/IPSWICH BOROUGH COUNCIL

“Its demolition in advance of the construction of replacement buildings is seen as a positive impact.”

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The planning committee also agreed to extend planning permission for the Drum and Monkey site to continue as a temporary car park until June 2022.

The land with the garages will be able to accommodate up to 90 cars, according to the council.

However, fears were raised that the temporary car park use would not promote more sustainable forms of transport such as cycling.

Councillor Oliver Holmes, who voted against the proposal said it was a “major departure” from the council’s own local plan which said that temporary car parks were not permitted.

He said: “In approving this application for an Ipswich Borough site, we have effectively lost control of temporary uses on any future site in the town centre.

“Any applicant will say ‘you gave yourselves planning permission against policy so why cannot I have it?’”

MORE: Temporary car park plan for Princes Street

It is not yet clear if the Covid-19 crisis will impact on future development of those sites, with offices and hotels among those hit by the pandemic.

However, the council has continued to pursue plans to build a multi-storey car park directly behind on its large Portman Road car park, the designs of which were first unveiled last month.


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