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Developer John Howard reveals plans for Lower Brook Street Ipswich site

14:48 05 February 2016

developer John Howard

developer John Howard

Town centre homes plans for important Ipswich town centre site close to the Waterfront

Portman House, Princes Street is for salePortman House, Princes Street is for sale

Developer John Howard has revealed plans for the redevelopment of the East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star site in Lower Brook Street, Ipswich.

The multi-million-pound development will see the newspaper offices, distribution centre and former print works demolished and transformed into “high-quality” new homes.

The listed building on part of the site is going to remain where it is.

Meanwhile, media company Archant, publisher of the Ipswich Star and EADT, is on the move, but will remain in the town centre.

It is planning to refurbish and develop Portman House, on the corner of Portman Road and Princes Street, as a brand-new home for the business – still in the heart of the town and business community.

The Lower Brook Street newspaper offices buildings, which date back to the 1960s, have been bought by Stephen Clark and Churchmanor Estates and will be developed in partnership with another well-known local developer and businessman, John Howard.

Property developer Mr Howard said: “Investigation work has already taken place into the site and proposals are being drawn up for a quality residential scheme.

“This extremely important landmark site is situated between the town and waterfront and is another important piece of the regeneration project. I am also very pleased to be working once again with Stephen Clark on this and a number of other projects.

“Meetings are taking place this month with the planning department due to an application going in shortly.

“There is a tremendous amount of investment going on in Ipswich at the moment,” he added.

“This is a very important site for Ipswich. It is an exciting and challenging project.

“It is a big scheme and I think it is a great location and, because it links the town centre with the waterfront, it is the best of both worlds.

“We have done a lot of regeneration projects in East Anglia and we have worked together in the past.

“We are planning a high-quality residential scheme, and it may well include some assisted living elements.”

In the distant past this area would have been part of Cardinal Wolsey’s college, which covered an extensive area of the town centre.

Mr Howard added: “The site has a number of challenges, and one challenge will be demolition, which will be expensive.

“It is also a historical site, and there will be an archaelogical dig, initially in the car park area.

“There is so much goodwill, and drive and enthusiasm in Ipswich for this, and the Portman House scheme, in getting a good living and working environment right in our town centre.

“It fits in with the Ipswich Vision, and Ben Gummer’s aims for the town.

“Ben Gummer has been a great supporter of the improved train times project for Ipswich.

“Princes Street will become the new business hub for the town centre, close to the railway station, with fast trains to London.”

Ipswich MP Mr Gummer has welcomed the two major schemes and the investment they represent in Ipswich town centre.

He said: “Our great local newspapers will have a new home that better accommodate them in this new modern, digital economy.

“John Howard and Stephen Clark, two strong local developers, will be able to develop their site in a 
way that will enhance our town.

“Both these projects are evidence that Ipswich is on the move again – not with flashy credit-fuelled speculative projects, but with real businesses creating real jobs and real homes for the future.”

Work on both the Lower Brook Street and Princes Street schemes are due to get under way during 2016.


  • Would be great to see this site redeveloped- is just a tad of an eyesore. Deserves a high-quality scheme so let's hope that is delivered upon. In terms of assisted-living- this shouldn't be confused with affordable housing- assisted living is usually private. The affordable housing requirement is set by IBC (20% for developments between 10-14 units and 35% for 15+), of course 'viability' can reduce this down- but viability arguments are always examined by a council's self-appointed expert. I think it would be great to see this site developed so bring it on!

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    Thursday, February 11, 2016

  • You are right there freedomf ..The northern fringe development has been sent back to the drawing board to include more affordable housing .. I guess john will get round this development by putting "cheaper houses" in on another site nearby ? Always a way around the rules.. but the" wine rack" is now a big gamble as second homes are subject to large stamp duty increases and investors are not so keen to sign up .. houses will sell easy at the moment demand is high at the right price , more traffic in the town centre in my eyes is a very poor idea but good luck to john...

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    Saturday, February 6, 2016

  • Let's hope for an early start. Any news when something might happen at the derelict County Hall?

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    Friday, February 5, 2016

  • "may well include some assisted living elements" ?..the tories bought in a Policy which should provide a quota of Social Housing on every new development !...why do they not Enforce it ?..in another article in the EADT it is asking what can be done about the Housing shortage ?....well the answer is simple !...just enforce the Policies !...otherwise what on earth is the point of having them ?..

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    Friday, February 5, 2016

  • Well with the rate of progress Mr Howard has made on The Winerack since he acquired it and and made numerous promises regarding the restart I wouldn't hold your breath for this redevelopment for quite some time

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    Mike Hunt

    Friday, February 5, 2016

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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