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Plans for new multi-storey car park in Portman Road, Ipswich, set to be approved




Plans for a new multi-storey car park to be built in Portman Road, Ipswich , are to be given the green light next week.

Ipswich Borough Council’s planning committee will make a decision on Wednesday, and officers have recommended the seven-storey structure is approved.

The outline plans, developed by the council itself to be built on the large car park it owns behind AXA, will accommodate 749 vehicles and represents part of a multi-million pound regeneration programme in the Princes Street corridor which also plans to create a hotel and office space.

Indicative image of what the new multi-storey car park in Portman Road, Ipswich, could look like. Picture: KLH Architects/IPSWICH BOROUGH COUNCIL (40888562)
Indicative image of what the new multi-storey car park in Portman Road, Ipswich, could look like. Picture: KLH Architects/IPSWICH BOROUGH COUNCIL (40888562)

When the plans were lodged in May, a borough council spokesman said the proposals “include a significant new area of public realm next to the car park as a link between it, the town centre and the football club”.

The spokesman added: “If we do get planning permission we will be in a place to proceed with the project when the time is right and if that would aid the economic recovery of the town.”

As the application is an outline bid, a detailed application must come forward at a later date before work can begin.

Indicative image of what the new multi-storey car park in Portman Road, Ipswich, could look like. Picture: KLH Architects/IPSWICH BOROUGH COUNCIL (40888565)
Indicative image of what the new multi-storey car park in Portman Road, Ipswich, could look like. Picture: KLH Architects/IPSWICH BOROUGH COUNCIL (40888565)

However, the proposals have prompted a series of objections, which included concerns over encouraging vehicles – considered contrary to the council’s climate emergency declaration last year, and the fact that Portman Road was closed off at the Princes Street end to make it more cycle-friendly.

One objector said: “We are in a climate emergency where it is agreed that emissions from cars are damaging. In these circumstances, it is not appropriate to create a large car park so close to the town centre.”

Another said it was “totally contradictory” when other car parks existed, and added: “There have also been claims to the effect of providing provision for safe cycle routes through this area in line with declared efforts to encourage more cycling and walking. Why enable increased car traffic, particularly on match days with all the pollution and gridlock, when Park and Ride could be provided and more encouragement for walking and cycling which was claimed to be an intention for the town?”

The Portman Road car park is often used by people working at offices in and around the Princes Street area, but it is not sure if the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on the number of office workers working in the town centre will change plans for when it will be built.

Any work is not expected before 2021 at the earliest.

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