Its 18 months since the old buildings that were for many years the Woodbridge Youth Centre crashed down. It’s now nearly a year since Jetty Lane got the go ahead from Suffolk County Council, and all-systems go!

What a year – filled with events and entertainments. With the amazing help of good friends and the strong, unwavering, magnificent support of the community. Due to the wonderful generosity  of an anonymous donor we were able to pay the significant fees for putting in Planning Permission. The plans are now in with the District Council and will be debated in December. We were and are grateful for a huge amount of support from many people and organisations.

Of course there have been some, living locally, who expressed concerns about replacing the youth centre, and the reinstatement of the activities that had previously existed there. Jetty Lane wants to be a good neighbour. Regarding the design, our architects have already made alterations based on concerns raised. (But unless people raised these concerns they could not be addressed – and none of these complainants attended the well-advertised Jetty Lane open meetings or raised these concerns during our public exhibitions over the last year. It’s hard to second guess what you don’t know!).

Later on we would love to put a bridgeway across the Avenue to Kingston Fields, and ensure a solid pathway on the Jetty Lane side of the Avenue down to the railway crossing, once Suffolk Coastal have put in the parking they have decided on. There may be some confusion between the district council’s parking plans., and Jetty Lane, come to that!

Finally, it seems some people may think that if they oppose Jetty Lane, the site will remain as it currently is. I think not!  I need to remind them that I discovered plans and blueprints 5 years ago to cover this site with more housing. If any other land nearby becomes vacant, the housing could extend.  So, when we look at Jetty Lane, we are not choosing between retaining this recently emptied space and having a new community youth and arts centre. Rather, it seems to be a choice between creating a legacy building for the community of Woodbridge and acquiescing to putting the last bit of available community space in Woodbridge under housing.  How many of the ‘concerned residents’ thought this is what they were endorsing?

Caroline Page

Thank you to Paul Izzard for the demolition photos of the old Youth Centre which was previously on the Jetty Lane site.