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Go-ahead for 18 new flats in Ipswich despite space concerns

PUBLISHED: 11:58 31 July 2020

The site in Upper Orwell Street, Ipswich, where the flats are planned Picture: JUDY RIMMER

The site in Upper Orwell Street, Ipswich, where the flats are planned Picture: JUDY RIMMER

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A proposal for 18 flats on empty land at Ipswich’s Upper Orwell Street has been approved - despite concerns they would be too small and the complex would be cramped.

Ipswich council’s planning and development committee gave permission for the development on a majority vote, despite fears from some councillors that residents would not have enough privacy and the flats would not have enough space to be comfortable.

The application from Derrivo Ltd was for 13 one-bedroom, four two-bedroom, and one three-bedroom flat where a previous parade of shops had been demolished a few years ago.

A similar application for the same number of flats was made last year. It was rejected by the council, because the design was not good enough and would not have fitted into the local area.

MORE: New application after flats bid thrown out

Planning officers said the new application was more sympathetic and had recommended that the scheme should be approved.

However, councillors remained concerned about the high density of flats proposed for the site.

Councillor Colin Kreidewolf said: “Overall, this is a very disappointing development. It is rather constrained by the size of the plot. One accepts the premise of the density in the town centre location but these apartments are barely meeting the space standards generally and it is just disappointing overall generally.

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“It is a lost opportunity I think.”

Fellow councillor Carole Jones was also concerned about the lack of space and said more should be done to ensure residents had privacy – especially as the back of the building would be right up against one of the town’s largest car parks.

Three of the flats in the development would be made available as affordable homes.

In its planning application, Derrivo said the new flats would help with the aim of encouraging more people to live in the town centre. The previous application had been rejected because the design would have been out of character with the area – but the new design was much more in keeping with the area.

The application said all the flats met the minimum space standards and all the residents would have space for cycle parking. As it was a town centre development there was no need to allow for vehicle parking spaces.

The site is in an area of Upper Orwell Street that was seen as an eyesore for many years before the derelict row of shops was demolished in 2014.

The land was temporarily landscaped with an urban garden appearance, but this has become overgrown over recent years.

MORE: Eyesore buildings demolished in Upper Orwell Street

The proposed development was passed by a sizeable majority by the committee – although Mr Kreidewolf was one of three councillors to vote against the proposal.


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