Tacket Street car park in Ipswich dubbed 'an embarrassment' by borough council
An eyesore town centre car park in Suffolk has been dubbed 'an embarrassment' for Ipswich by councillors, prompting fresh talks to begin on regenerating the area.
Ipswich Borough Council’s planning committee last week approved a fresh application by NCP to extend the use of the large Tacket Street car park for a further two years.
Despite having been a car park for nearly 50 years, it has been operating on temporary planning permissions, and councillors have now said they want to see regeneration plans come forward in the future.
Councillor Oliver Holmes said: “There have been countless booms and busts in all this time and in all that 50 year period there has been no development on that site.
“Ipswich residents all have a pride in our town and this site continues to be an embarrassment.
“We deserve better than this for Ipswich.”
Among the concerns raised were the rubbish problems in the area, a lack of electric vehicle charging points, the impacts on the nearby local businesses and the high price of parking there.
Planning officers said its location in the town centre meant it would benefit from regeneration, but there was no obligation for the landowners to do so.
However, the council confirmed it would begin discussions with the landowners to see what can happen for the future.
Councillor Carole Jones, portfolio holder for planning said: “This is a huge private company and there is nothing in national or local planning policy that makes it easy for councils and local planning authorities to enforce or compel the development we would like to see, otherwise it would have happened at any point over the last 50 years.”
Councillor Sandra Gage said she would like to see it used for retail or hospitality space on the ground floor with affordable homes above.
But she expressed fears that would not happen because “this location is such a lucrative area for a private car park company to continue running it as a car park”.
The car park currently accommodates 255 vehicles, including four electric vehicles, 19 disabled spaces and 10 motorcycle or moped spots.
A spokesman from NCP declined to comment.