Ipswich’s Cardinal Park to get new look despite fears over car parking

An indicative digital image of what the revamped area in Cardinal Park could look like. Picture: AWA

An indicative digital image of what the revamped area in Cardinal Park could look like. Picture: AWAKE ARCHITECTS - Credit: Awake Architects

Proposals to give the leisure terrace at Cardinal Park a new look and introduce outdoor seating for its restaurants has won unanimous backing from Ipswich council planners.

Cardinal Park - there can be difficulties in finding a parking space. Picture: SAM DAWES

Cardinal Park - there can be difficulties in finding a parking space. Picture: SAM DAWES - Credit: Sam Dawes

It got backing despite some fears that removing 28 parking spaces might make it more difficult for visitors to find anywhere to stop when going to the town’s largest leisure complex.

The changes will see a wooden trellis installed at the leisure terrace and car parking spaces in front of the restaurants paved over and turned into an outside dining area.

Although some parking space would be lost, there will still be far more than the minimum required for a development of this size, said planning officer Carlos Hone. As well as the spaces on Cardinal Park itself there were other car parks nearby.

Ipswich council portfolio holder for planning Carole Jones welcomed the application: “This is a great improvement to the area. It will enable people to eat outside and it is really good to see the owners of Cardinal Park investing in the future of the area.”

She was backed by leading opposition councillor John Carnall.

Labour councillor Sandra Gage backed the proposal – but did have concerns about the loss of parking spaces. She said: “On the few occasions when I have driven there, I have sometimes found it difficult to find a space and you have to go around a few times before finding anywhere to park.

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“It would be good to encourage businesses to give maps of the area to their customers so they can know where there are other car parks at busy times.”

She said there were car parks in the Princes Street area and near the Waterfront that were only a few minutes’ walk from Cardinal Park – but many people did not know about them.

The businesses do not need planning permission to put tables outside the restaurants because these are considered to be “temporary” because they are taken indoors at night – however the owners do need permission to pave the existing car parking spaces.

Colin Kreiderwolf felt it was ironic that the businesses did not need permission for the outside tables because these would increase demand, putting more pressure on parking.

But he felt the changes would be good for the town centre in general.

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