Regent expansion project takes step forward as plans urged for approval

The grey modular extension design image.

It's hoped that the extension would be able to attract more shows to the venue. - Credit: KLH Architects/IBC

Plans for an extension at Ipswich's Regent Theatre have been recommended for approval by planning officers.

The project will be discussed at the Ipswich Borough Council planning and development committee on Wednesday, June 29.

The project would see new dressing rooms and facilities for performers behind the main building, next to the manager's office.  

Council bosses hope the scheme will help to attract more and larger shows to the venue.

The plans would see a readymade unit with three dressing rooms with toilets and showers, an open area and a kitchen.

Due to the fact the building is Grade II listed, having been built in 1929, special permission is needed.

The application has been formally made by KLH architects, on behalf of the council, who say that they are confident the proposals would not damage the historic setting of the theatre.

The Regent Theatre, Ipswich

The plans have been recommended for approval by planning officers. - Credit: Google Maps

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The grey modular buildings would be placed on the hard standing area inside the fence at the theatre and would also include new signs indicating the entrance.

Now, planning officers have recommended that the plans are approved, with some conditions, including granting planning permission for a temporary period of five years to allow for future assessment to be undertaken "given its proximity to heritage assets."

The report adds: "The proposed development would be a well-designed form of development that would function well and would be well integrated with adjoining areas.

"Furthermore the proposal would be acceptable having regard to its impact upon heritage assets and supports the enhancement of existing arts, cultural and tourism facility.

"The proposal would not impact negatively on the amenity of residents in close proximity of the site.

"The proposed design is considered to be functional and as such it is appropriate being subservient to the theatre but also helping to reinforce the theatre’s identity and visibility.

"It will also boost the longer-term sustainability of the Regent as a venue helping maintain it within a viable use consistent with its conservation."