New push for park restoration

RESIDENTS were today being encouraged to tell the council their views on a massive restoration planned for Ipswich's hidden jewel, Holywells Park.Ipswich Borough Council is applying for a £2million Heritage Lottery fund, which, if approved, would be used to make a number of changes to the park.

RESIDENTS were today being encouraged to tell the council their views on a massive restoration planned for Ipswich's hidden jewel, Holywells Park.

Ipswich Borough Council is applying for a £2million Heritage Lottery fund, which, if approved, would be used to make a number of changes to the park.

There are plans to transform the old Stable Block, which is currently being used for the grounds maintenance depot, into a multi-facility centre for educational and leisure use.

Other ideas include restoring the landscape to its original glory, improving the park's sporting facilities, and creating a designated cycling and running path.

It is hoped the changes would reflect the town's brewery and maritime history.

There have already been some recent improvements in the park, including a new pond to replace a paddling pool and the opening of a play area, which has made the park more attractive to families, according to ranger, Matt Berry.

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Residents are today encouraged to voice their opinions about what they want to get out of Holywells Park.

Mike Deane, head of StreetCare, said: “One of the most important things is consultation. If we are going to get the best out of the park, we will have to provide things people want. A huge part of the bid process is to gather information from the users.”

While the lottery bid for developments at Christchurch Park was based on restoration, this time, it will be focused on the people that use the park.

Judy Terry, Ipswich councillor for leisure, said: “We already know that the park is being used a lot by people. Since the new play area has been built, the park has become even more popular.

“The more input we get from residents, the better the bid will be. We have lots of ideas but all options are open at this stage.”

The council has also put forward £72,000 to develop the bid, which has to be submitted by March. If the bid is approved and subsequent planning permission is agreed, work could start mid-2009 or early 2010. It may take up to five years to complete.

To submit your comments about the park, e-mail parks.services@ipswich.gov.uk, call 01473 433512, or write to GreenSpace-Parks and landscape services, Ipswich Borough Council, Gipping House, 7 Whittle Road, Hadleigh Road Industrial Estate, Ipswich, IP2 0UH.

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