April 19 2014 Latest news:
By Paul Geater
Monday, December 3, 2012
ONE of the most historic buildings on the edge of the town is set to close its doors as a county council centre for the last time by the end of the year.
Belstead House, in Pinewood, has been owned by the county council for decades.
For many years it was the town’s Court Lodgings – used when the most senior judges visited the town for the most serious trials.
Since the 1970s, it has been an educational and conference centre.
But it does not comply with the Disability Discrimination Act and the decision was taken to close and sell the building as part of the reorganisation of county council property and the purchase, with the police, of Landmark House on the edge of the town.
It was put on the market with a price tag of about £2million earlier this year – included in the sale were 14.5acres and two cottages which are used for accommodation for conference guests.
It is understood the county council is in advanced negotiations for the sale of the historic house – and that officials are hopeful it should have a new owner early in the new year.
The building dates back to the 17th century, but it has had several alterations and extensions built over the years.
As well as being used for residential courses – many teenagers got their first experience of living away from home there as they prepared for university – it has also been used as a venue for many community education courses over the years.
What are your memories of Belstead House? Is it right for the county council to sell the building? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org