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Draft Site Allocations and Policies (incorporating IP-One Area Action Plan) Development Plan Document

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Part C

IP-One Opportunity Areas

(3) Chapter 7: IP-One Opportunity Areas

7.1 Six 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 expected to take place.

  1. Island Site (this area includes part of the former Opportunity Area E Over Stoke Waterside)
  2. Merchant Quarter
  3. Mint Quarter and surrounding area
  4. Education Quarter and surrounding area
  5. Westgate
  6. River Corridor and Princes Street Corridor (this area reflects a re-focus of the former Opportunity Area G River Corridor)

7.2 The number of opportunity areas has decreased from twelve identified in the Preferred Options IP-One Area action Plan published in November 2007. The reduction in number follows a re-assessment of the site opportunities available within the Opportunity Areas. Some have been deleted because of concerns over their deliverability and some because they have now been developed. The Opportunity Areas which have lost most or all of their site opportunities have been deleted or merged with ones which remain.

7.3 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.

Key 1

A – Island Site. Site Analysis.

Island Site SA

A – Island Site. Development Options.

Island Site DO

(3) 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 lower 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

  • Residential (max 50%) could include live-work units
  • Marina moorings and shore based facilities at the south end of the Island
  • Marine related industry
  • 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 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 and bridge across New Cut to link to Mather Way
  • Layout to facilitate a full Wet Dock crossing
  • Provision of cycle/pedestrian bridge across lock gate
  • Layout to facilitate location of new foot/cycle bridge from New Cut to St Peter’s Wharf
  • Layout and design to address flood risk
Merchant's Quarter SA

B – Merchant’s Quarter. Site Analysis.

Merchant's Quarter SA

B – Merchant’s Quarter. Development Options.

Merchant's Quarter DO

(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.

Development Opportunities

Mixed use development comprising:-
Residential (max 50%) – could include live work units Non residential use (50% +)
-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.
  • Enhance pedestrian linkage between town centre and waterfront with upgraded public realm.
  • Development to address street frontages – particularly Star Lane
  • Development to respect and enhance setting of Listed and historic buildings
  • Replacement site for major EDF electricity sub station.
  • Layout and design to address flood risk.

C – Mint Quarter. Site Analysis.

Mint Quarter SA

C – Mint Quarter. Development Options.

Mint Quarter DO

(5) 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 small scale retail

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 provide appropriate building scale to historic street frontages.
  • 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. Site Analysis.

Education Quarter SA

D – Education Quarter. Development Options.

Education Quarter DO

(2) 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 University Campus 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 UCS 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

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.
  • Layout and design to address flood risk.

E – Westgate. Site Analysis.

Westgate SA

E – Westgate. Development Options.

Westgate DO

(4) 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

Retail led mixed use development

  • Retail
  • Residential
  • Café/restaurant uses
  • Shoppers car parking
  • Improved cultural network

Development Principles

  • Layout to promote enhanced pedestrian linkage between Westgate Street and New Wolsey theatre, and northwards to the Ipswich Museum site on the High St.
  • 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
  • Enhanced public realm in Elm Street

F – River Corridor. Site Analysis.

River Corridor SA

F - River Corridor. Development Options.

River Corridor DO

(3) Opportunity Area F – River Corridor and Princes Street Corridor

The ‘River Corridor’ occupies the large area between the town centre and the railway station while the ‘Princes Street Corridor’ links the station to the centre of town. It includes 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

Development Principles

North side

  • 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
  • Improved frontage and public realm setting in New Cardinal Street, including east section of the street adjacent to St Nicholas Church
  • Scale of development medium rise (4-6 storeys) with opportunities for enhanced scale in key locations
  • Layout and design to address flood risk.
  • Improved public realm in front of the rail station and enhancement of pedestrian/cycle access to the station from the town centre and along the river corridor
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