Ipswich: New worries over plan to create haven for street drinkers

ipswich: The management company responsible for the town centre has raised new fears over the establishment of a tolerance area for street drinkers in the former Peter’s Ice Cream factory.

Ipswich Central has been trying to get rid of street drinkers from the heart of the town – and is irritated that the area has been set aside within the part of town they manage.

Director Paul Clement said he was irritated that street drinkers who had previously mainly used areas outside the central Ipswich area – such as one near the former Odeon cinema– had now been offered an area within centre of the town near Suffolk New College and the recently opened Goals football centre.

He said: “We have a great deal of sympathy for these people individually and we accept that there is a need for the authorities to set aside an area where they can offer help and try to find a way of bringing them back into society.

“But I am disappointed that having spent a lot of time and effort in making the centre of Ipswich a more pleasant place for people to visit that they have now been offered an area like this within the BID (business improvement district) area. It is not a good move.”

Nearby residents and businesses have expressed their concern about the use of the former ice cream site by street drinkers.

However the police and other agencies have said drinking will be tolerated there because it is away from public view – so long as the street drinkers accept rules laid down by the authorities.

Most Read

n Is is right to allow street drinkers to use the old Peter’s factory? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk