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Plans submitted to turn former Masons Arms in Ipswich into flats

PUBLISHED: 17:00 20 February 2018

Former Masons Pub, Victoria Street, Ipswich Picture: ARCHANT

Former Masons Pub, Victoria Street, Ipswich Picture: ARCHANT

Plans have been lodged to knock down a derelict former pub in Ipswich and give the land a new lease of life as flats.

The Masons Arms in Victoria Street, Ipswich, which has been badly damaged by fires. Picture: SIMON PARKERThe Masons Arms in Victoria Street, Ipswich, which has been badly damaged by fires. Picture: SIMON PARKER

The Masons Pub in Victoria Street has been closed for several years, and despite being marketed as to let by owners in June 2016, did not result in any requests to view and no offers.

Now, a planning application has been submitted to Ipswich Borough Council by Warren Wright (Ipswich) Ltd which proposes demolishing the site and constructing a block of eight flats, with six car park spaces and eight cycle spaces.

In the plans agent Stan Beanland from Beanland Associates said: “It is proposed to demolish the existing building and construct a new block of residential apartments.

“In addition, there will be six parking spaces and eight cycle spaces, together with refuse and recycling facilities with a vehicular and pedestrian access from Ainslie Street.

“The intention is to introduce new dwellings in this predominantly residential area and make efficient use of this under-utilised site.”

Current council policy aims to retain community facilities, with clauses on the loss of pubs requiring developers to demonstrate that the site is “genuinely redundant”.

Guidance by the owners published in the planning documents revealed that the property was marketed in June 2016 at £12,000 per year, with the “commercial logic that if a tenant cannot pay £1,000 per month for a live in cash business then it will not work”.

On June 5 that year the pub was the victim of a suspected arson attack, followed by two further fires in July, prompting parents nearby to voice their fears over the safety of the area.

The report added that chronic vandalism coupled with the fires “hastened the decision to develop the site into alternative use”.

Its position at the end of a cul-de-sac with no passing trade or car park also made its decline inevitable, the report said.

Mr Beanland in the application added: “We are aware that local members of Ipswich Borough Council are keen to see this property redeveloped and we consider that the proposed residential development offers the most viable opportunity for regeneration.”

A decision on the site’s future is set to be made in spring, once the consultation period has finished.

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