Name change idea for Wright's street

RESIDENTS of the road which will forever be linked with the murders of five Ipswich sex workers today revealed they are considering asking for it to be renamed.

RESIDENTS of the road which will forever be linked with the murders of five Ipswich sex workers today revealed they are considering asking for it to be renamed.

Steve Wright's former neighbours in London Road believe they will suffer from the stigma of the serial killer's depraved acts for years to come, a member of the road's neighbourhood watch committee revealed.

Julie Hyland, a committee member of the London Road Neighbourhood Watch group, said a resident suggested a move to rename the street within the last few weeks and the idea had been well-received.

She said: “The idea we've come up with as a group is that we'd love our name to be changed.

“We think having the name of our road changed would make a big impact. We're looking into that as a group.”

Mrs Hyland said the neighbours had been negatively affected by having London Road referred to in connection with the killings.

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Wright moved into number 79 just a few weeks before he killed 19-year-old Tania Nicol, who went missing from the nearby corner of Handford Road and London Road on October 30, 2006.

His other victims are all also thought to have disappeared from streets close to the home the 49-year-old shared with his partner Pamela Wright.

Mrs Hyland said following Wright's conviction on all five counts of murder - verdicts which she said were “a big relief” for residents of London Road - those in the street were now looking to the future.

“I think renaming the street would be a good move for the future because we are always going to be labelled as the red-light district. “We haven't got a suggestion of (new) names or anything, when it was mentioned at the last Neighbourhood Watch meeting I thought it was a good idea.

“I know it causes problems to start with with post and everything but after a while it would be OK.”

Michael Clarke, 58, of London Road, said: “I would like the house knocked down and the name of the road changed.

“People are worried about selling their houses - it's given the road a bad name but is actually a nice road.”

Mrs Hyland said real improvements had been made following the introduction of the Ipswich Street Prostitution Strategy which aims to help prostitutes break free from drug addictions and their lives working the streets.

She said the idea to rename the road would be put to Ipswich Borough Council for consideration.

It is understood there are no precedents of changing street names in Ipswich. While the idea is believed to be seen as “theoretically” possible by Ipswich Borough Council, The Evening Star has learned the authority would have to consult with the Post Office, residents and businesses in the area before any change could be made.

The final decision would rest with the borough council.

IPSWICH'S most notorious address - 79 London Road - could be demolished following Steve Wright's conviction for murdering five Ipswich sex workers.

One resident of the road today said the house where Wright took prostitutes faced being pulled down.

Landlord Kenneth Bean would not comment but builder David Welton, who lives in the flat at 79a London Road directly behind Wright's old house, said Mr Bean had told him he planned to pull it down.

“Mr Bean told me some time ago that he planned to demolish it," said Mr Welton, 45, who still lives in the adjoining property.

“Since Wright was found guilty I have been thinking about moving anyway. I wouldn't think anyone would want to rent it, would you?”

However not all residents think the house should be wiped off the map forever.

Julie Hyland, a committee member of the London Road Neighbourhood Watch group, said, in time, people would move on from associating the house with Wright's campaign of murder.

“It's going to take a long time to not go past number 79 without looking at it but it's going to get better eventually,” she said.

“We've had a chat with Kenneth Bean about it. He didn't know what they were going to do, he said they hadn't even discussed it.

“I don't think they need to demolish it. It is a beautiful house. I think people will eventually forget about it.”

Mrs Hyland said Mr Bean had told her that his wife actually owned the property.

A spokesman for Ipswich Borough Council said Mr Bean would have to apply for planning permission to demolish the property.

The homes of other killers - including 25 Cromwell Street, Gloucester, where Fred and Rose West lived, and 5 College Close, Soham, Cambridgeshire, where Ian Huntley lived - have been demolished in recent years.

It is not known where Wright's victims died.

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