Campaign seeks support to turn Ipswich town centre and Waterfront green

Faye Harburt and Richard Bloomfield of the Ipswich Oasis Project. Picture: PAUL GEATER

Faye Harburt and Richard Bloomfield of the Ipswich Oasis Project. Picture: PAUL GEATER - Credit: Archant

A new campaign hoping to turn part of Ipswich town centre green is trying to get financial support from the £25m Town Deal fund unveiled earlier this week – and has already won the backing of a former borough leader.

Faye Harburt and Richard Bloomfield from the Ipswich Oasis Project are being supported by former cou

Faye Harburt and Richard Bloomfield from the Ipswich Oasis Project are being supported by former council leader Liz Harsant. Picture: PAUL GEATER - Credit: Archant

The Ipswich Oasis Project wants to see more trees and flowers planted in both the town centre and the Waterfront area – part of Ipswich that its organisers described as a “concrete desert” because of the lack of flora.

The campaign is being led by Faye Harburt and Richard Bloomfield who feel not enough attention has been paid to the natural environment in the proposals already outlined.

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Standing outside the James Hehir building on Ipswich Waterfront, Ms Harburt said: “There is very little green here at all. This is the only patch of grass and although it looks green now, for most of the summer it is brown. There are trees in these planters but they will not ever grow large enough to mature there – they need to be planted in the ground and this area should be turned into a green oasis.”

They would like to see a prominent building on the Waterfront – possibly the old Paul’s Malting silo near Stoke Bridge – have a “green wall” on one of its faces to add some character to the area.

Mr Bloomfield said: “We would like to link the Waterfront and the town centre with a green route like a boulevard. The irony is that if you look at artists’ impressions of buildings before they go up they always have trees and plants around them – but when they’re built there is no greenery around them.”

The campaign is backed by former Ipswich council leader Liz Harsant, who said she had become aware of the lack of green areas since she moved to a town centre flat a few years ago. She said: “There is nothing green in Queen Street that I overlook. It would be so much better to have some planters with flowers and shrubs to make the area look a bit more colourful.”

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She has been advising the Oasis Project and they are hoping to persuade people to back them by writing in their support for the project on the survey that is currently running to find schemes to attract the government’s £25m funding for the town.

Mr Bloomfield said: “At the moment there are a couple of cycle schemes and a proposal for a new open space at Stoke Bridge, but nothing much else for the environment on the list.”