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Large Ipswich house being turned into 14 flats gets go-ahead for parking expansion

The house in Park Road, Ipswich, close to Christchurch Park, which is set to be converted into 14 flats. Picture: ROWELL BELL

The house in Park Road, Ipswich, close to Christchurch Park, which is set to be converted into 14 flats. Picture: ROWELL BELL

Archant

A controversial expansion to plans to turn a historic house into 14 flats has been approved - despite concerns it could "destroy" a quiet corner of Christchurch Park.

The large six-bedroom detached red brick house in Park Road, Ipswich had already been given planning permission in 2007 for its conversion into a house of multiple occupancy (HMO).

However when Eyton Developments applied for further changes provide a total of 17 car parking spaces - 10 more than originally planned - it came up against stiff opposition from neighbours concerned about its impact on nearby Christchurch Park.

Despite the concerns, the revised plans - which also included increasing the size of an already approved extension by 10% - narrowly won a vote of Ipswich Borough Council's planning committee by six votes to five.

Ahead of the meeting on Wednesday, April 24, Ipswich-based Last and Tricker Partnership - agent for the development - said: “Only glimpsed views of the existing house are seen from Christchurch Park and the character of the park is not changed by this proposal.”

However St Margaret's councillor Oliver Holmes, who spoke on behalf of residents in his ward, said: “I am disappointed the committee reached this decision.

“The building of such a large extension will permanently damage an architecturally important building and will harm the park conservation area and the adjoining Grade II Listed historic Christchurch Park.

“I think residents are entitled to look to the planning authority to protect these heritage assets for themselves and future generations.”

Before the meeting neighbour Rowell Bell, who lives in nearby Henley Road, said: “I think it's going to destroy the views and destroy a quiet corner of Christchurch Park.

“You're going to have at least 14 people. They'll be coming and going and causing a disturbance.

“That will no longer be a quiet corner of the park. It will no longer be a beautiful backdrop to the park.”

■ What do you think? Write, giving your full contact details, to andrew.papworth@archant.co.uk

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