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Aquatics Centre Plans Submitted
Friday, 7th Jun 2024 09:18

Plans for the new Ipswich Aquatics Centre next to the Blues’ Portman Road stadium have been submitted for approval.

In March, Ipswich Borough Council unveiled its plans for the new aquatics and leisure centre and its masterplan for the Portman Road area.

Now formal planning permission has been applied for by Handford Developments, which is run by IBC.

The scheme, which was initially announced in July 2022 and has been drawn up in collaboration with Suffolk County Council and Ipswich Town, would see the new aquatics centre - featuring pools, water flumes, a gym and fitness studios, as well as a soft play area and cafe - as well as a hotel and park areas built on the car park behind the Cobbold Stand.

In addition, a multi-storey car park would also be constructed in order to replace the spaces lost due to the new development.

It’s also proposed that Portman Road is rerouted into a curve to facilitate the club’s redevelopment of the Cobbold Stand, which is currently being worked on but is a longer-term rather than immediate priority.

“The new Ipswich Aquatics Centre will be strategically positioned between key buildings around the area, providing a cohesive link and offering a dynamic space for recreation, wellness, and community engagement,” the planning document reads.

“With its prime location and thoughtful design, the new Ipswich Aquatics Centre aims to become the vibrant focal point of the neighbourhood, catering to diverse interests and promoting social integration.”

Speaking at the time of the launch of the masterplan in March, Councillor Neil MacDonald, leader of IBC, said: “This project is set to become a community jewel, a beacon of how sports, leisure, and communal well-being are valued in Ipswich.

“Together, we are not just building facilities; we are building hope, opportunity, and a legacy of communal well-being. As we move forward, the focus shifts to attracting forward-thinking investors who share our vision for a healthier, more vibrant Ipswich.

“This is a journey towards not only revitalising our town but also championing the spirit of our community.

“The council is dedicated to making this vision a reality, ensuring that the benefits of this ambitious project will be enjoyed by both current and future generations of Ipswich residents.”

Town CEO Mark Ashton added: “A significant amount of work has been undertaken at the Portman Road grounds over the last three years, with visible improvements to our home during that time, and we are proud to have an average attendance of nearly 29,000 this season.

“The redevelopment of the Cobbold Stand and an increase in capacity has been part of our long-term masterplan for the stadium and, while it must be stressed no work is imminent, we are pleased to have been able to work with Ipswich Borough Council to identify the required land to make this possible.”

Planning consultants Ingleton Wood give an overview of the project and an interactive public consultation platform on their website.


Photo: IBC



Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.



EssexBloo added 09:29 - Jun 7
Phil any suggestions the new stand has been accelerated after promotion? Surely the club look at the fact that the Huddersfield game could have sold 40,000 is a factor and having away fans sat on the half way line can’t be a perfect scenario either.
1

PhilTWTD added 09:46 - Jun 7
Not heard anything on that, but you'd imagine it's something they're looking at given the demand for tickets.
2

Help added 09:48 - Jun 7
Let's hope they actually do proceed, and not the failure they made with the new athletics and gymnastics centre at Gainsborough. Also let's see if the final result is as per the plans. As crown pools lost its flumes/slides due to cuts.
0

dirtyboy added 09:52 - Jun 7
Literally building a pool which won't be as good as Crown Pools. What an absolute crock of s***e from IBC who didn't listen to anyone who knew anything about swimming in the community. Some architect with some fancy pics selling to people who know nothing.

Looks lovely, serves no better purpose.
1

Reality_2021 added 10:01 - Jun 7
So no leisure pool?

Won’t traffic be an issue on game days for Saturday swimming lessons?
3

wkj added 10:04 - Jun 7
I want my waterslides! I am furious that I have to go to Colchester or Felixstowe!

Why did I vote for Brexit if I have to spend my hard earned money in Essex.

SMH - Next you'll be telling me they cancelled Snoasis too!
0

grow_our_own added 10:13 - Jun 7
Is the pool 50m? Ipswich needs a proper Olympic size pool. Seems to be lots of space given to gyms, workout studios, etc of which there are already plenty in town.

Good they're leaving space for the new Cobbold. Stay up this season and that's extra parachute money. High time for upgrading then.
5

Ipswichbusiness added 10:41 - Jun 7
Essexbloo, I think that Mark Ashton said a while ago that they are aware of the demand for tickets and would like to expand capacity, but it’s not just a question of ticket demand. Basically, the costs are very large and you only have home 19 league games plus a few cup matches to repay those costs. Accordingly, expansion is only viable if additional uses can be found for the stadium.
1

kwakaboy added 10:50 - Jun 7
Deck chair on the roof for match days looks a good option
0

kwakaboy added 10:50 - Jun 7
Deck chair on the roof for match days looks a good option
0

churchmans added 11:02 - Jun 7
Diverse interests and social integration!
Reading these words and the fact it is a labour run council fills me with so much negativity!
I hope it is not just another shallow water crown pools picked up and moved to Portman Rd!
Hopefully there is a diving board,a deep end male and female toilets/changing rooms!
It sounds like it's going to be well.. I ain't going there let's just wait and see! Hopefully it will be brilliant
-2

wewerefamous added 11:06 - Jun 7
Grow our own - my understanding is that it’s a 25m pool which is ridiculous. Most new complex are built to cater for 50m pools.
4

Carberry added 11:15 - Jun 7
Has to be a 50M pool if we are to have more champions following Karen Pickering. Did anybody ask her for her opinion?
3

NthQldITFC added 12:20 - Jun 7
I'm another one who thinks building another 25m pool is absolutely stupid and half-arsed. What a wasted opportunity. As others have said, you don't need all that additional gym space. Daft.
3

runaround added 13:53 - Jun 7
I do think that the area would be a lot better served by facilities that link into the football club and what spectators will actually do on matchday and things that people will come to the town for. Restaurants, sports bars. Perhaps a little retail, more than one hotel a venue that has a big enough capacity for pop concerts, PDC darts or massive conferences.
The football club will be the pull to get people to Ipswich and the council needs to get on board. A swimming pool won’t do it for me
2

runaround added 13:53 - Jun 7
I do think that the area would be a lot better served by facilities that link into the football club and what spectators will actually do on matchday and things that people will come to the town for. Restaurants, sports bars. Perhaps a little retail, more than one hotel a venue that has a big enough capacity for pop concerts, PDC darts or massive conferences.
The football club will be the pull to get people to Ipswich and the council needs to get on board. A swimming pool won’t do it for me
1

BluJu added 14:33 - Jun 7
Is there a requirement for a new pool then? I live closer to Peterborough and the huge standalone town centre pool now sits derelict after closure through lack of use and funding.
1

churchmans added 19:26 - Jun 7
I'm afraid this council is full of ideology!
No review or consultation of the people who it is supposed to serve!
Soft play area and a neck deep 25m length pool!
What a disaster
2

Westy added 10:35 - Jun 8
Fitness gyms etc lend themselves to pretty much any redundant building and could be put anywhere and agree with most comments on here - anything less than a 50m pool seems pointless.
1

BurleysGloryDays added 21:36 - Jun 9
Ipswich can be a much bigger centre for Suffolk if it has reasons to travel to apart from our beloved Towen.

Look how the Suffolk show pulls the country in.

Go big, 50m pool, leisure facilities, think Stratford ambition and Ipswich will be truly transformed. The town needs people like me to travel into it, which I will if it’s got truly attractive centres to be in.
1


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