New hope for Upper Orwell Street

IPSWICH council today promised to look again at measures to improve Upper Orwell Street after the launch of The Evening Star's new campaign.But borough chiefs warned that they were limited in what they could do about the blighted street.

IPSWICH council today promised to look again at measures to improve Upper Orwell Street after the launch of The Evening Star's new campaign.

But borough chiefs warned that they were limited in what they could do about the blighted street.

"We are very well aware of the problems in Upper Orwell Street, but in the final analysis there isn't much we can do if NCP will only offer tenants very short leases," said council economic development spokesman Phil Smart.

"There have been meetings with tenants, councillors, and officials and we are very keen to do what we can with that street.


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"But ultimately we cannot order a private sector landowner to get on develop their land if they don't seem to want to. It is very frustrating."

NCP's relationship with developer Helical Retail has ended, and there is currently no development partner for the Mint Quarter development.

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Argos was the only store that ever committed itself to moving into the new development, and plans for the market to move there have now been abandoned as it has become established on the Cornhill.

Landowner NCP has insisted it is still committed to developing the Mint Quarter - but without a developer signed up the prospects of any immediate action seem a long way off.

It could be that the Mint Quarter will not take off until development happens further to the east - in the Suffolk College/County Hall area of the town.

That could be the push that is needed to get work underway on the eastern fringe of Ipswich town centre.

nHow would you revitalise Upper Orwell Street? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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