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Ipswich Borough Council Local Plan Site Allocations and Policies (incorporating IP-One Area Action Plan) DPD Review - Final Draft

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Part C IP-One Opportunity Areas

CHAPTER 6: IP-One Opportunity Areas

6.1 Eight Opportunity Areas have been identified within the IP-One area defined on the map in Figure 1 in Chapter 2 (see list below). They are areas where there are clusters of development opportunities, which together present an important opportunity to enhance the townscape and public realm. The Opportunity Area descriptions, development principles and plans which follow will act as concept plans to guide the development strategically that is expected to take place. They should be adhered to unless evidence submitted with applications indicates that a different approach better delivers the plan objectives. The allocation policies of the Plan take precedence over the Opportunity Area guidance and site sheets in the event of any discrepancy.

A Island Site (this area includes part of the former Opportunity Area E

Over Stoke Waterside)

B Merchant Quarter

C Mint Quarter and surrounding area

D Education Quarter and surrounding area

E Westgate

F River and Princes Street Corridor (this area reflects a re-focus of the former Opportunity Area G River Corridor)

G Upper Orwell River and Canalside – this is a new area added to reflect potential development sites in this area of IP-One, allocated through policy SP2

H Holywells Area

6.2 For each Opportunity Area two plans are included: the first is a site analysis plan and the second a plan to illustrate the development options and design guidelines. The development options shown illustrate how development could be laid out on allocated sites.


A – Island Site. Site Analysis.


A – Island Site. Development Options.


(1) Opportunity Area A – Island site

The Island is located in the heart of the Ipswich Waterfront on land that was reclaimed when the Wet Dock was constructed over 150 years ago creating an island linked to the 'mainland' by a narrow connection at St Peter's Dock. In recent decades the usage of the Island has changed as industrial port activities have given way to leisure uses based around the development of the marina. The Island represents a key development opportunity in the regenerated Waterfront.

The development of the Island site can contribute in a variety of ways to the regeneration of the Waterfront area. It is appropriate for provision of low to medium rise development which would maintain the essential character of the Wet Dock Conservation Area and protect significant views across from the outer edges of the Waterfront. Space is available to provide some much needed green areas including reinstatement of the tree lined promenade. The old lock gate area provides a natural focus for leisure uses while there is still space for further development of marina related activity.

West of the New Cut, opportunities exist for new mixed use development which can enhance the setting of historic buildings such as Felaw Maltings and the use of the quayside promenade and historic connecting routes such as Great Whip Street and Felaw Street.

Development Opportunities

Mixed use development comprising (percentage is indicative):

  • Residential (70%) could include live-work units
  • Marina moorings and shore based facilities at the south end of the Island
  • Marine related industry including boat building
  • Employment including office use
  • Small scale retail, cafes and restaurants
  • Heritage/cultural based visitor attraction
  • Public open space
  • Conversion of historic buildings
  • Waterfront promenade

Development Principles

  • Retention, refurbishment and conversion of historic structures (Public Warehouse, Lock Keepers Cottages and Harbour Masters House)
  • Reinterpretation of historic lock as focus to new public space
  • Protection of key vistas across the island
  • Protection of predominantly open character of water area
  • Generally low to medium rise development (3 ,4 and 5 storeys)
  • High quality public realm/open spaces
  • Waterfront promenades to Wet Dock and Riverside
  • Development to provide vehicular access (including emergency vehicles) and bridge across New Cut to link to Felaw Street
  • Layout should not prejudice the potential provision of a full Wet Dock crossing
  • Provision of cycle/pedestrian bridge across lock gate and westward pedestrian and cycle access across the New Cut
  • Layout to facilitate location of new foot/cycle bridge from New Cut to St Peter's Wharf
  • Layout and design to address flood risk
  • Development to take account of heritage issues including archaeology and Wet Dock Conservation Area.
  • Ensure suitable public transport provision


B – Merchant Quarter. Site Analysis.


B – Merchant Quarter. Development Options.


(2) Opportunity Area B – Merchant Quarter

The area between the Wet Dock and the Central Shopping Area presents an opportunity to improve the links between the regenerated Waterfront area and the centre of town. The area includes several vacant and underused sites, the redevelopment of which would knit the area together from its present fragmented state.

Having undergone a period of development which has regenerated the Northern Quays, progress has now stopped, leaving a number of unfinished developments and gap sites. There are still issues of lack of connectivity between the Waterfront and the traditional Town Centre. The area between the old centre and Star Lane contains a network of streets, chiefly running north-south, but the linkage between this area and the Waterfront is affected by the barrier presented by the Star Lane gyratory road system. There is a poor quality environment in some parts of the area with several underused/vacant sites. Linked with proposals to lessen the impact of the Star Lane corridor, opportunities exist to reinforce the existing historic character and street pattern, promote improved pedestrian connection through and across the area, and migration of activity between the Town Centre and the Waterfront with the redevelopment of these underused/vacant sites. This area includes much of the internationally important area of the Anglo-Saxon and Medieval town and waterfront, including scheduled monuments and will involve considerable commitment of resources to archaeology.

Development Opportunities

Mixed use development comprising:-

Residential (could include live work units)

Non-residential use

-Offices/businesses

-Cafes/restaurants

-Small scale retail

Development Principles

  • Layout to relate to historic street pattern
  • Fine grain development of generally low rise (3 storeys) with increased scale at focal points, up to a maximum of 5 storeys, to reflect historic scale and grain. Taller buildings may be permitted in the tall building arc defined through policy DM15.
  • Enhance pedestrian linkage between town centre and waterfront with upgraded public realm.
  • Development to address street frontages – particularly Star Lane – and if possible allow for widening on Star Lane to accommodate tree planting, cycle provision or wider footways.
  • Development to respect and enhance setting of Listed and historic buildings.
  • Development to address scheduled monuments and archaeology.
  • Replacement site for major EDF electricity sub-station.
  • Layout and design to address flood risk.


C – Mint Quarter and surrounding area. Site Analysis.


C – Mint Quarter and surrounding area. Development Options.


(2) Opportunity Area C – Mint Quarter / Cox Lane regeneration area and surrounding area

The 'Mint Quarter' is the name which has been applied to the proposed redevelopment area located within the block bounded by Carr Street, Upper Brook Street, Tacket Street/Orwell Place and Upper Orwell Street. Redevelopment of the Mint Quarter represents an opportunity for a mix of predominantly non-retail uses. Existing areas of surface parking will be replaced by a multi-storey short stay car park and redeveloped urban blocks with a legible layout of streets and public spaces. Development of the area will promote the residential-led regeneration of the adjoining peripheral shopping streets and much needed improvements to the public space at Major's Corner.

Development of the main Mint Quarter area should be based around a continuation of the historic urban block structure, with a new pedestrian spine forming a continuation of Butter Market linking through to a new urban square located on the historic north-south route of Cox Lane. Ancillary routes should link through to the main routes enclosing the wider block and to acknowledge historic routes and features as appropriate. Residential accommodation should be provided at upper floors to provide an appropriate form and scale of development.

Development Opportunities

Predominantly non-retail mixed use development comprising:

Residential

Shoppers short stay car parking (multi storey)

Public open space

Café/restaurant uses

Some retail on the western part of the site

School

Development Principles

  • Pedestrian connection opposite Butter Market with new urban space
  • Enhanced pedestrian permeability east-west and north-south across site
  • Layout to promote active frontages at ground floor level
  • Development to respect and enhance setting of Listed and historic buildings
  • Development to address scheduled monuments and archaeology (much of the Mint Quarter site is a scheduled monument) including conservation principles and, where relevant, mitigation for impacts on archaeological remains and enhancement of public understanding.
  • Development to provide appropriate building scale to historic street frontages and to be appropriate in the context of the Conservation Area.
  • Enhancement of linkage to Regent Theatre
  • Provision of major new landscaped public space at focus of scheme
  • Scheme to promote regeneration of Upper Orwell Street including environmental enhancements.


D – Education Quarter and surrounding area. Site Analysis.


D – Education Quarter and surrounding area. Development Options.


Opportunity Area D – Education Quarter and surrounding area

The 'Education Quarter' is located on the eastern side of the town centre, extending from just north of Rope Walk down to the Waterfront. It includes the higher and further education sites occupied by the University of Suffolk and Suffolk New College. The area also includes existing residential, commercial and leisure uses, which have the potential to create a vibrant mixed use quarter, providing a major activity node and linking the Town Centre, the Waterfront and the eastern side of the town.

The major investment associated with further UoS and SNC developments will not only lead to a physical reinvigoration of the area, with quality new buildings and public spaces, but will also generate increased activity levels and prosperity in the area, which can support spin off employment and service activities.

Development Opportunities

(percentage is indicative)

Higher & Further Education uses (75%)

- Academic facilities

- Support facilities

- Student accommodation

Residential development

Hotel

Car parking (inc. public)

Small scale retail, café/restaurant

Offices/business

Development Principles

  • Scale, mass and form of development on Waterfront to be of varied height (minimum 6 storeys), responding to waterfront setting with layout maintaining glimpse views through to tree-lined skyline.
  • Fine grain, low rise (2-3 storeys) development north of Rope Walk to integrate with historic scale and character of St Helen's Street and create a suitable transition to the modern buildings of the college campus.
  • Development to respect and enhance setting of Listed and historic buildings.
  • Development to address archaeology and Wet Dock, Central, and St Helen's Conservation Areas.
  • Layout and design to address flood risk.
  • Enhanced pedestrian and cycle permeability through the area and linking into wider networks.


E – Westgate. Site Analysis.


E – Westgate. Development Options.


(1) Opportunity Area E – Westgate

Fringing the western end of the Town Centre, the 'Westgate' quarter is a mixed area with a varied collection of retail, business, civic, cultural and residential uses. To the west of the area, Civic Drive presents a barrier to linkage between the Town Centre and the inner suburban areas. With the demolition of the Civic Centre and the long standing need for regeneration of the area to the north of St Matthew's Street, there is a significant opportunity to reinvigorate the area, with better integration of pedestrian movement and a more coherent built character.

Redevelopment of the former Civic Centre complex would form the centrepiece of a regenerated "Westgate" built around an enhanced pedestrian link through the site from the end of Westgate Street to a reactivated space in front of the New Wolsey Theatre. The barrier to pedestrian movement formed by Civic Drive and the series of underpasses beneath the St Matthew's Street roundabout would be addressed by new surface level crossings as has been done at the Friars Street Princes Street end of Civic Drive as part of the Travel Ipswich scheme. There is the potential to enhance pedestrian links northwards across St Matthews Street, connecting with the Ipswich Museum site which has been identified for major investment. Existing developments of inappropriate scale would be replaced by new development of a scale more befitting their town centre location.

Development Opportunities

Residential led mixed use development with some retail on the former Civic Centre site IP040

- Residential

- Retail

- Café/restaurant uses

- Shoppers car parking

- Improved cultural network

Development Principles

  • Layout to promote enhanced pedestrian linkage between Westgate Street and the New Wolsey theatre, northwards to Ipswich Museum on High St and eastwards between the retail allocation and Museum Street
  • Surface level pedestrian/cycle crossing across Civic Drive
  • Creation of new urban space at Westgate Street
  • Enhancement of plaza fronting New Wolsey Theatre, including replacement of redundant water feature
  • Redevelopment of the Civic Centre site to incorporate landmark building
  • Higher density housing to Civic Drive, Gt Gipping Street & Curriers Lane sites (4-6 storeys) as opportunities arise – housing on Black Horse Lane now excluded from allocations
  • Enhanced public realm in Elm Street
  • Development to take account of nearby heritage assets and archaeology
  • Ancillary routes should acknowledge historic routes and features as appropriate (in order to aid public understanding and appreciation of heritage).


F – River and Princes Street Corridor. Site Analysis.


F - River and Princes Street Corridor. Development Options.


Opportunity Area F – River and Princes Street Corridor

The 'River Corridor' occupies the large area to the north of the river in the vicinity of the railway station while the 'Princes Street Corridor' links the station to the centre of town and is designated as an Enterprise Zone. The riverside area is low lying and formed a fertile, grassy edge to the main settlement area since early times. Medieval watermills were replaced in the 19th century by waterside industries and the cattle market, then the road link to the railway station and Ipswich Town Football ground. The two corridors include many underused or vacant commercial sites, with a generally poor environmental quality and very fragmented townscape. Regeneration within the area presents an opportunity to consolidate the urban form either side of the important route from the railway station to the town centre, creating an attractive gateway to Ipswich and high quality public realm. The riverside connection to the Waterfront area can be enhanced as a setting for new pedestrian and cycle links.

The area of car parking to the east of Portman Road has potential to be redeveloped as a mixed use (predominantly office) environment, reconnecting the edge of the town centre to the east with inner urban housing and parkland to the west.

Development Opportunities

Office-led mixed use development

- Leisure

- Car parking

Enhanced environment for people arriving at Ipswich by rail

Residential uses where appropriate within mixed use developments adjacent to the river

Development Principles

  • Riverside green corridor with enhanced pedestrian and cycle routes to the Waterfront
  • Creation of new townscape east of Portman Road, with well-defined blocks and through routes
  • Development of Princes Street as a civic boulevard and gateway to town centre
  • Scale of development medium rise (4-6 storeys) with opportunities for enhanced scale in key locations
  • Layout and design to address flood risk
  • Layout and design to take account of the historic environment including archaeology
  • Enhancement of pedestrian/cycle access to the station from the town centre and along the river corridor


G Upper Orwell River and Canalside

Opportunity Area G – Upper Orwell River and Canalside

Opportunity Area G Upper Orwell River and Canalside

This area is characterised by a series of sites in commercial occupation, grouped around the under-used assets of Alderman Park and the waterside frontages of the Rivers Orwell and Gipping and the Alderman Canal. It offers opportunities for mixed-use redevelopment in a sustainable edge of town-centre location. The opportunity exists to create a riverside and parkland environment for development in place of the existing road-dominated layout.

Redevelopment would capitalise on the proximity to the Park and to the river / "canal" side. New developments would be located to take advantage of views of these amenity assets and to provide natural surveillance. Redevelopment of the Portman Walk industrial site for residential purposes will provide an enhanced environmental quality and encourage provision of a new pedestrian / cycle access through to Handford Road, aiding accessibility for both existing and new residents. Conversion of the historic tram-shed and reconfiguration of the old turning area into a quality public space will provide a much-needed focus to the area. Increased residential use and activity levels and adoption of revised traffic access arrangements will assist in reducing anti-social activity.

Development Opportunities

Riverside residential uses, where appropriate within mixed use developments.

Non-residential uses could include offices or small scale retail or leisure uses.

Development Principles

  • IP003 - medium rise residential development (3 – 4 storeys) north of Sir Alf Ramsey Way with opportunity for feature block up to 6 storeys at west end of site, alongside River Gipping; layout to address park setting to the east, canal side to the north and river to the west.
  • IP120b - residential development west of West End Road, 3–4 storeys high and up to 8 storeys at southern end; design and layout to address river setting on both sides; landscape buffer to sub-station.
  • IP004 – mixed use development; existing historic Tram Shed building retained and converted for office use; residential development to the west fronting West End Road, up to 6 storeys in height.
  • IP119 – residential development up to 2-3 storeys; landscape buffer to sub-station and at southern tip.
  • New foot / cycle connection to Handford Road, via Bibb Way or Cullingham Road.
  • Residential development to adopt perimeter block layout, with landscaped frontages addressing River Gipping, Alderman Canal and wildlife area.
  • Traffic calming to Sir Alf Ramsey Way.
  • Layout & design to address flood risk.
  • Cycle and pedestrian connections created where possible across the river and canal;
  • Public access to riverside incorporated into layouts and linking to the Waterfront.
  • Layout and design to take account of the historic environment including archaeology.


H Holywells

Opportunity Area H – Holywells


(1) Opportunity Area H Holywells

The area between the Wet Dock and Holywells Park presents an opportunity to link the Waterfront area to the green lung and to improve integration with the residential areas to the east. The area includes the vacant historic Tolly Cobbold Brewery complex. Also included in this opportunity area is the timber store yard (Anglo-Norden) which, when redeveloped, has the potential to act as a book-end to the Waterfront and complete the successful transformation of this area.

The first phases of regeneration of the Ipswich Waterfront have focused on sites on or close to the Wet Dock, but the recent development at Parkside (Duke Street) and of sites at Wherstead Road have highlighted the opportunities that exist for regenerating sites away from the immediate Waterfront, offering environmental improvement and enhanced integration with established residential communities which are sited away from the Dock area. Proposals for the area build on schemes previously approved for residential-led mixed-use development such as the major Eagle Mill proposals by Persimmon Homes at Cliff Road / Helena Road.

Development Opportunities

  • Residential-led development.
  • Riverfront regeneration and associated leisure uses
  • Secondary employment, community, leisure, arts and cultural development.
  • Pedestrian/ cycle links
  • Public Open Space

Development Principles

  • Enhanced pedestrian/ cycle permeability east-west through the opportunity area, connecting the Waterfront and Wet Dock Crossing with Holywells Park.
  • Facilitate new Wet Dock vehicular crossing / bridge
  • Development to address street frontages
  • Promote redevelopment of former Shipyard area as "destination", linked to regenerated Cliff Brewery via new Riverside esplanade
  • Scale of development generally medium-rise (3-5 storeys), with opportunities for taller buildings at key locations
  • Maintain views of treed skyline to East
  • Protect key view of Cliff Brewery from Helena Road
  • Reduce impact of Port related traffic, via traffic management & improved public realm
  • Relocate Cliff Quay access control point south of Cliff Brewery, to improve public accessibility to Riverside and facilitate link between Brewery and Shipyard sites
  • Layout & design to address flood risk
  • Development to address risk from major hazard site (Vopak terminal)
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