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Ipswich Crown Car Park to close in May for start of multi-storey project

PUBLISHED: 13:48 26 April 2017 | UPDATED: 13:48 26 April 2017

An architect's impression of the entrance to the new car park. Picture: IBC

An architect's impression of the entrance to the new car park. Picture: IBC

Ipswich's Crown Street Car Park will close on May 22 to allow the start of a seven-month project to build a new multi-storey on the site.

David Ellesmere in Crown Car ParkDavid Ellesmere in Crown Car Park

The 236-space surface park will be replaced by a £5.5m 546-space multi-storey which is due to open in January next year.

Over the last year the borough has opened the new Elm Street Car Park and seen a new park open on the site of the former Civic Centre in a bid to replace the lost car parking spaces.

The new multi-storey park will replace the 1,000-space Crown Car Park which had to be closed and demolished in 2009 after it was found to be suffering from “concrete cancer”.

The new multi-storey will take up about two thirds of the surface car park site – the remainder will remain open as a surface car park.

Ther former Crown Car Park was closed in 2009. It was demolished the following year. Picture: LUCY TAYLORTher former Crown Car Park was closed in 2009. It was demolished the following year. Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

However if it is found to be too small, it should be possible to build an extension in future years which could take its capacity up to about 800 vehicles.

The final application for the car park was discussed by Ipswich council’s planning and development committee on Wednesday.

There is one access detail for pedestrians that still has to be agreed with the county’s highways department, but councillors said officers could formally grant permission once that detail has been ironed out.

Council leader David Ellesmere said: “This is a major investment in the town. There is a need for a new multi-storey car park there, the existing site is often full up.

“It shows the borough’s commitment to improving the town centre and it is being built in such a way that it could be extended relatively easily if it becomes apparent that that is necessary in the future.”

The new multi-storey is a key element of the Ipswich Vision to revive the town centre and provide high-quality parking. Ipswich Central chief executive Paul Clement said it was necessary and he strongly supported the news that work would soon start.

The meeting also extended the temporary planning permission for a 95-space car park on the site of the former St Peter’s Warehouse near the Waterfront which should help ease pressure on the town’s car parks while the new multi-storey is being built.

The new park should open in January next year, but part of the site should be available for the Christmas season.

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