Town's new stand under fire

HE'S seen his team relegated from the Premiership, battling a financial crisis, and he's been forced to sack the manager.And just when Ipswich Town chairman David Sheepshanks thought things could not get any worse the town's heritage guardians now don't like his new stadium!The Ipswich Society, which seeks to preserve the town's heritage, has launched a broadside against the club's new North and Greene King Stands in its latest newsletter.

By PAUL GEATER, political editor

paul.geater@eveningstar.co.uk

HE'S seen his team relegated from the Premiership, battling a financial crisis, and he's been forced to sack the manager.

And just when Ipswich Town chairman David Sheepshanks thought things could not get any worse the town's heritage guardians now don't like his new stadium!

The Ipswich Society, which seeks to preserve the town's heritage, has launched a broadside against the club's new North and Greene King Stands in its latest newsletter.

"Good to keep stadium close to town centre, but a disaster for the built environment. Did lighting gantries need to be so prominent?" The newsletter says.

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Ipswich Society chairman Jack Chapman said members were especially concerned about the view of the stadium from the top of Berners Street.

"It's very prominent, and the development has dramatically changed the appearance of the town from the top of Berners Street especially.

"We don't feel there was need for it to be quite so prominent on the landscape," Mr Chapman said.

However he did not know how the club could have increased capacity to 30,000 without building such a large stadium.

Although the Society welcomed the fact that the club had stayed near the town centre – and especially close to public transport links – some members felt it would have been better to move to an out-of-town site close to major road links like the A14 and A12.

At Ipswich Town, officials were trying to put a brave face on the latest broadside.

"Oh no! We've had everything else happening recently, and now this," said one insider.

"I can see that the loss of the bijou corrugated North Stand must be a major disappointment to many people!"

The official reaction from the club was more restrained. "The new stands were fully discussed and approved by planning authorities, and there was plenty of opportunity for people to have their say before the final decision was made," said a club spokesman.

n What do you think? Is Ipswich Town's rebuilt ground, a gem or carbunkle? Write to Evening Star Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

n Opinion – see page 6

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