Regeneration of Ipswich’s Holywells Park causes parking chaos

Ipswich borough councillor, George Debman.

Ipswich borough councillor, George Debman. - Credit: Su Anderson

The increased popularity of Holywells Park following a multi-million pound investment has caused parking problems in the surrounding roads, a councillor has said.

Concern has been raised by residents and business owners as visitors to the Ipswich park are reportedly parking vehicles illegally and dangerously.

George Debman, borough councillor for the Holywells ward and owner of G Debman Family Butchers on Cliff Lane, said: “It’s a problem that has been getting worse over the years because when they built the new play area in the park it became a major destination - I know people that have come as far as Lowestoft and Haverhill.”

He said the issue had escalated since the park’s car park, which is adjacent to the Cliff Lane entrance, closed for work to take place.

Park users have resorted to parking around Dereham Avenue and Severn Road, often leaving vehicles on junctions and bends, Mr Debman added.

“I have spoken with the county council about putting yellow lines on all the corners around the estate, purely and simply because it’s an absolute nightmare,” he said.

Mr Debman said he had seen a negative impact on his business and others along Cliff Lane because customers were unable to park close to the shops.

Most Read

A spokeswoman for Suffolk County Council said requests for double yellow lining would be considered when Traffic Regulations Orders were reviewed, but in the meantime it was the responsibility of the borough council and police officers to enforce the parking provision.

A woman whose 82-year-old mother lives in Severn Road, and did not want to be named, said: “I’m really worried about my mother and the other elderly residents around there as you would never get an ambulance up that road, soon you are going to have a head on collision.”

A borough spokesman said the car park was due to reopen this week but was intended for use by disabled drivers and authorised vehicles only.

He said a travel plan had been developed as part of the major investment in the park, and that signs around the park entrances directed users to nearby parking.

“The council encourages park users to walk, cycle and use public transport to visit the park,” he added.

In 2013, Holywells Park was awarded a grant of £2.8 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund or the ‘Parks For People’ restoration project to be invested over a five-year period. The grant was then topped up by the Friends of Holywells Park and Ipswich Borough Council to a sum of £3.5 million.

Last week, more than 300 children turned out to the unveiling of a high-tech interactive play area in the park - the first of its kind in Suffolk.