New buildings needed for ‘boring’ estates on edge of town – report

Hawthorn Drive on the Chantry estate - how could the area be made to look more exciting?

Hawthorn Drive on the Chantry estate - how could the area be made to look more exciting?

The Stoke Park and Chantry areas of Ipswich look boring and need to be improved by exciting new buildings – according to a new report for the town’s own council.

The Chantry, Stoke Park and Maidenhall Character Area Urban Characterisation Study looks at how the area should develop in future years.

And although it makes it clear that many residents like living there, it makes no great claims for its current design merits.

The report says of Chantry: “The lack of variety in streetscapes and housing unit designs should be addressed through eyecatching and innovative development design.”

And of Stoke Park and Maidenhall it says: “Greater contrast and diversity is needed in the built environment in order to create landmarks and improve placemaking.”

Planning committee chairman – and Chantry councillor – Peter Gardiner accepted that there was a need for more imaginative buildings in that part of town.

He said: “If you look at the homes in the area, many of them are very similar and it would be good to get some new designs.

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“Unfortunately when new plans come forward they often look as if they are all pulled out of the same drawer.

“It doesn’t cost much to make houses look more interesting, to improve the look of an area and I hope we can persuade developers to do that.”

Opposition leader Nadia Cenci represents Stoke Park on the borough – and has lived in the area for 37 years.

She said: “It’s certainly not true to say the area as a whole is boring, we have a wonderful park and good facilities. I would like to see Stoke Park get a new community centre, though.

“There is nowhere for people to get together here. We have no pub anymore. At Chantry there’s the Kingfisher which is a great community pub. I don’t think we need that in Stoke Park – but a community centre would be good.”

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