Rubbish route from the Waterfront to the town centre

IPSWICH: It could be a prestigious link from the growing Waterfront to a vibrant town centre – but the most direct link is a run-down alley blighted by rubbish.

It looks like what it is – an uncared-for corner of the town that too many people are happy to turn a blind eye to.

From Lower Orwell Street near the Waterfront and UCS through to Upper Orwell Street which has been blighted for two decades by the promise of the Mint Quarter tomorrow the route seems to have been abandoned to its fate.

Yet only yards away the Waterfront presents a gleaming new face of Ipswich and UCS continues to expand attracting more students from across the country.

Further along the water’s edge Tesco is set to create a new store, on Grafton Way, which is planned to be part of a new complex on the former B&Q site and includes two hotels with 247 bedrooms, 129 flats, four shops and/or restaurants and car park for 700 vehicles.

Lower Orwell Street is dominated by the site of the former Gym and Trim fitness centre which has been empty for many years and is surrounded by tatty plywood which has seriously deteriorated over the years.

A public notice attached to the plywood by rusty drawing pins advertises a planning application for student accommodation – asking for comments by July 9, 2007.

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Along Upper Orwell Street the streetscape is blighted by empty shops.

On one side this is the result of blight by the long-promised by never-acheived Mint Quarter. Many of the shops are only available on short leases and this has made it difficult to find new tenants.

The other side of the road does not face the same problems and has fewer empty shops – but its attraction for retailers is clearly limited.

On the roads and alleys off Upper Orwell Street rubbish and litter is a major problem. In Upper Orwell Court, a popular footpath to Bond Street, a low wall has collapsed on to the path and after a temporary fence was put up it became filled with rubbish.

In Union Street, a short stub off Upper Orwell Street, a pile of rubbish – including broken kitchen furniture – has weeds growing around it. But hours after contacting the borough council for a comment a team was sent round to clear up the rubbish.

And St Michael’s Church – which has been for sale for several years – now looks very run-down.

What should be done to tidy up this part of Ipswich? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk