Memorandum by Sue Arnold, Head of Strategic
Planning and Regeneration, Ipswich Borough Council (CAB 10)
Representatives of CABE, including its Chair
and Head of Enabling (Sustainable Communities), visited me in
Ipswich in 2002 and took considerable interest in the scale and
pace of urban regeneration occurring around its Waterfront Area.
This development, driven by the housing market, was taking place
at densities much higher than anticipated in Ipswich Local Plan
First Deposit Draft 2001. It was agreed that the centre of Ipswich,
and the Waterfront Area in particular, would benefit from the
creation of a master plan and design guidelines following contemporary
urban design principles.
Ipswich Borough Council was committed to piloting
the new planning system and CABE used its influence to persuade
the East of England Development Agency to help fund the IP-One
Area Action Plan. This ground breaking urban renaissance project
aimed to facilitate appropriate investment in the mixed-use development
of the centre of the town.
A small Steering Group comprising Councillors
and Officers of the County and Borough Councils, EEDA and a CABE
Enabler led the IP-One Area Action Plan. The Enabler helped to
develop a comprehensive brief for the Area Action Plan, helped
the Steering Group to select and appoint appropriate consultants
and participated in Steering Group meetings throughout the project.
His participation and commitment to the project helped guide it
to a successful conclusion with the publication of the document
in October 2003.
The Enabler brought a completely different and
valuable dimension into the Steering Group. He had extensive professional
expertise, skills and experience but no local connections or allegiances.
This allowed him to take a detached view of the project and of
the difficulties and dilemmas it presented for local officers
and councillors. He was extremely supportive to the Steering Group
and committed to achieving a successful outcome.
The key characteristics of the project were
Create a sustainable community with
a commercially viable mix of uses which link well both socially
and physically with to neighbouring uses and amenities and to
other parts of Ipswich.
Provide for a range of tenures, both
residential and commercial, to encourage social and economic cohesion
Deliver high quality urban design
Ensure strong participation of local
stakeholders throughout the process.
The Area Action Plan was delivered in the autumn
of 2003 and has provided the framework for an ever expanding range
of regenerative initiatives in Ipswich for which some of the credit
should go to CABE in acknowledgement of their support.