IPSWICH’S Waterfront district has established itself as a cultural and social hub, attracting thousands to its restaurants, bars and leisure facilities every week.

But behind the plush apartments and enticing eateries is a much darker side – one which was never envisaged when the regeneration of the docks was first mooted.

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The stalled building projects aside, Ipswich’s Waterfront district has established itself as a cultural and social hub, attracting thousands to its restaurants, bars and leisure facilities every week.

But behind the plush apartments and enticing eateries is a much darker side – one which was never envisaged when the regeneration of the docks was first mooted.

Located at the western tip of the quayside, the derelict Burtons building looks like something out of a war film.

And shock photographs taken inside the crumbling structure, obtained by The Ipswich Star this week, show how the former factory has been turned into a drug den.

The ground floor of the building – situated only yards from the Dance East centre, a regional hub visited by hundreds of youngsters every week – is littered with used hypodermic needles and associated drug paraphernalia.

Blackened spoons have been discarded, while graffiti adorns the walls. One message reads: “Welcome to hell.”

There is also evidence that people have been sleeping rough in the building, with mattresses on the floor and the remnants of fires also visible in the images.

The former factory and office block, located at the Stoke Bridge end of the Waterfront, is just 50 metres away from the historic Wolsey Gate – built 480 years ago and one of Ipswich’s most iconic landmarks.

When The Star visited yesterday, access points into the building through unsecured windows were easily found.

Community leaders today promised to raise concerns with the building’s owner. Borough leader David Ellesmere said the council would work with police on the matter.

He said: “We have contacted the owners instructing them to make the building safe and secure.

“If the owners don’t respond then we can take action ourselves to make the building secure.

“Our number one priority is safety and getting the building secure, which we will treat as a priority.”

Earlier this month, archaeologist Tim Browne, 53, raised concerns over the danger of glass falling from the building on to people below and suggested the introduction of an exclusion zone.

Meanwhile, Ipswich MP Ben Gummer said: “This is a timely reminder that we need to crack on with this area of the waterfront as soon as possible.

“The owner of the building has a responsibility to make sure the building is secured properly.”

Cllr Ellesmere added: “There are a complex series of negotiations to get development going on those sites but those things are moving very slowly.

“We would like to see development restarting but we are not kidding ourselves that it will be happening anytime soon.”

The Star reader who found the needles said he visited the building after reading Mr Gummer’s comments last week on the lack of progress at the Waterfront in recent months.

“The story shouldn’t have been about the state of the buildings but what the youngsters were or are getting up to once inside,” said the reader, who asked to remain anonymous.

“I found countless needless, blackened spoons and pro-heroin graffiti.”

The building used to be owned by Burton Son and Sanders, a confectionery-making business. The property was used as offices and also a factory before it was closed 20 years ago.

17 comments

  • MAY I ASK THE COUNCIL WHO PAYS IF THEY TAKE ACTION IN MAKING THIS BUILDING SAFE ??? .. WHY NOT PUT A COMPULSORY DEMOLITION ORDER ON THE BUILDING UNLESS SOMETHING IS NOT DONE WITH IT BY A CERTAIN DATE ,,AND THE SAME WITH THAT SCAFFOLDING MONUMENT ACROSS THE ROAD

    Report this comment

    MIGUEL100

    Wednesday, February 13, 2013

  • Are these pictures really shocking? they may be shocking to the reporters on this newspaper and for our beloved councilors and mp's but i think any normal person who actually walks round Ipswich will certainly not be shocked ..I think it shows just how out of touch certain people in this town are .. I would suggest that the reporters and councilors etc take off their rose coloured glasses and take another look at Ipswich!!

    Report this comment

    Paul Hales

    Wednesday, February 13, 2013

  • Did Ben Gummer actually use the term "We must crack on?” :0)

    Report this comment

    David White

    Wednesday, February 13, 2013

  • The Waterfront is the lipstick on the pig that is Ipswich.

    Report this comment

    Winston Barrington Jr.

    Wednesday, February 13, 2013

  • Demolish the building while the drug users are in it. Solves 2 problems at once.

    Report this comment

    RC

    Wednesday, February 13, 2013

  • This proves just what a cesspit Ipswich is. This is normal life on a normal day in a normal cesspit town

    Report this comment

    the opinion man

    Wednesday, February 13, 2013

  • if you knock the building down , the users just go some where new. maybe help people they are some ones kids not sex offenders

    Report this comment

    Lee mundy

    Friday, February 15, 2013

  • The comment by Sam is spot on, it happened with my local pub, it was allowed to go to ruin then vandals came in and finally the owner got the permission to knock down one of Ipswich's original old pubs and build flats. The system plays to greed.

    Report this comment

    C Smith

    Thursday, February 14, 2013

  • something needs to be done to the half built one too the whole place is a eyesore knock em down and leave it as free parking ....overflow for the cardinal park parking where you can never park !! like that would happen...

    Report this comment

    rumbler

    Wednesday, February 13, 2013

  • Are these pictures really shocking? they may be shocking to the reporters on this newspaper and for our beloved councilors and mp's but i think any normal person who actually walks round Ipswich will certainly not be shocked ..I think it shows just how out of touch certain people in this town are .. I would suggest that the reporters and councilors etc take off their rose coloured glasses and take another look at Ipswich!!

    Report this comment

    Paul Hales

    Wednesday, February 13, 2013

  • MY DAUGHTER MOVED TO MANCHESTER 10 YRS BACK NOW ,, AND SHE SAID TO ME LAST WEEK ,, COMING BACK TO IPSWICH IS LIKE GOING BACK 50 YRS ,, CAN'T WONDER AT IT WHEN YOU SEE THE STATE OF THEM BUILDINGS

    Report this comment

    MIGUEL100

    Wednesday, February 13, 2013

  • Are these pictures really shocking? they may be shocking to the reporters on this newspaper and for our beloved councilors and mp's but i think any normal person who actually walks round Ipswich will certainly not be shocked ..I think it shows just how out of touch certain people in this town are .. I would suggest that the reporters and councilors etc take off their rose coloured glasses and take another look at Ipswich!!

    Report this comment

    Paul Hales

    Wednesday, February 13, 2013

  • Why don't you go and live somewhere else opinion man? Perhaps because in reality you know that Ipswich is no worse than any other towns of similar size!

    Report this comment

    alittlebitwoolly

    Wednesday, February 13, 2013

  • Surely this is about people not property. Our 'number one priority' should be helping people off drugs and into secure accommodation.

    Report this comment

    Nigel Noakes

    Wednesday, February 13, 2013

  • Are these pictures really shocking? they may be shocking to the reporters on this newspaper and for our beloved councilors and mp's but i think any normal person who actually walks round Ipswich will certainly not be shocked ..I think it shows just how out of touch certain people in this town are .. I would suggest that the reporters and councilors etc take off their rose coloured glasses and take another look at Ipswich!!

    Report this comment

    Paul Hales

    Wednesday, February 13, 2013

  • Yes its about people , these people reside in Ipswich and i wonder why ? Plenty of opportunity for this type of activity and comes with low standard and poor communities .

    Report this comment

    Poppys Dad

    Wednesday, February 13, 2013

  • As someone who works for a major property developer who owns several buildings exactly like this, I can tell you this article plays perfectly into the hands of the ownerdeveloper. They will be waiting for permission to do something with this building, either for permission for a new building, subsidy for development, concessions on traffic planning or parking - the worse the existing building gets the better for them as the more pressure it puts on the local authority to ease whatever barriers are in place preventing its current development. They will do whatever they need to and no more than that, to stay on the right side of the law whilst local people and the press pile the pressure on the council. The solution is a planning system which is faster and government assistance to ensure developments begin (and as importantly finish).

    Report this comment

    Sam

    Wednesday, February 13, 2013

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

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