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Future of historic Ipswich mural and 450-place primary school at former Carr Street Co-op department store to be decided

The future of a historic mural and a 450-place primary school is set to be decided.

Proposals for the Co-op department store building in Carr Street, Ipswich, to be demolished and give way to a new primary school were initially approved in October 2021.

However, the plans were delayed after concerns were raised that relocating a historical mural, located above the Cox Lane walkway to Carr Street, could lead to it being damaged.

The mural behind the Co-op will remain in place. Picture: Google
The mural behind the Co-op will remain in place. Picture: Google

The mural was designed by Gyula Bajó and Endre Hevezi and installed between 1963 and 1964 before being given listed status in April last year.

New plans were submitted in March to facilitate its preservation by allowing it to remain in its current place and stand on its own alongside a new primary school with a capacity for 420 students and a nursery for 26.

The works include reducing the building by two storeys, building a new wall on the eastern side of the building, and other associated works.

The application’s heritage statement read: “The proposed scheme is believed to maintain the ability to understand and appreciate the heritage values that contribute to the significance of the mural.

“Indeed, the proposed scheme is considered to result in an enhancement to view and appreciate the significance of the mural resulting in an enhancement to the ability to understand and appreciate it as a work of public art.

“This will result in no harm to the mural as a designated heritage asset.”

The application will be considered by members of the planning committee on Wednesday, May 29, alongside an application to vary several conditions to allow for works to preserve the mural, including the removal of asbestos from its fixing before fully discharging pre-commencement conditions.

Also for consideration next week will be alterations to the existing car park in Upper Orwell Street to facilitate access to the site from Cox Lane.