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Waterfront: Winerack may never be completed - says council leader

12:44 26 February 2013

The incomplete Regatta Quay stands above the skyline in Ipswich

The incomplete Regatta Quay stands above the skyline in Ipswich

IT’S the town’s unwanted legacy of the recession – and the second tower of the ill-fated Regatta Quay development is unlikely to ever be completed.

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That’s the view of borough leader David Ellesmere after a new report called for the government to encourage businesses to build new homes for rent – possibly by rescuing stalled schemes.

Whatever happens, Mr Ellesmere cannot see the day when people are living in the half-built tower – dubbed the wine rack.

“Every day that passes is a day closer to the wine rack being pulled down,” he said.

He was responding after the British Property Federation – a body which promotes the private rental sector – said the government should do more to encourage private investment in building homes for rent.

That call came after figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government showed that the number of new home starts in East Anglia fell significantly in 2012 – although nationally the numbers increased slightly.

Nationally the number of new home starts in 2012 increased by 1% compared with the previous year. However in Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex the number of starts fell. Suffolk also saw a fall in the number of new homes completed.

In Ipswich work started on only 50 new homes last year.

Mr Ellesmere said he would not like to see investors encouraged to enter the private rented sector at the expense of social housing programmes like more council house building or housing association investments.

He said: “I am not convinced that encouraging the private investors into the rental housing sector would help here.

“What is needed in Ipswich is more social housing – which is why the council is leading the way on that.”

Should private companies be encouraged to build new homes for rent? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email starletters@archant.co.uk

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22 comments

  • Its sad but true that this development will never house people. It is like a towering monument to greed of business over the will of the communities they purport to have an interest in. Somebody needs the guts to pull it down and install community projects. (not more 'shops')

    Report this comment

    fuztownsend

    Tuesday, February 26, 2013

  • Can it not be used for Halls of Residence

    Report this comment

    m01

    Tuesday, February 26, 2013

  • Concrete is concrete regardless, it could stand there for another 100 years and not be a problem. Having 20 floors is irrelevant to its construction too. The best thing would be to pull it down as it's blatantly not going to get the investment needed, especially with the property prices 20-30% overpriced on the docks. Knowing the council, it will either be demolished and turned into a pound shop, mobile phone shop or car park.

    Report this comment

    Tedbundy

    Tuesday, February 26, 2013

  • This just proves furthermore what a "cesspit" Ipswich and is supported by benefit culture residents. If this was in an affluent area it would have been built years ago and all the places snapped up. Ipswich is full of chavs, people on benefits and minimum wage. The only thing this building houses is homeless people and drug users who inject. It is a sign of the times that Ipswich is fast resembling a 3rd world country

    Report this comment

    the opinion man

    Tuesday, February 26, 2013

  • Can it not be used for Halls of Residence

    Report this comment

    m01

    Tuesday, February 26, 2013

  • thats a great ides mr tall. along with the climbing plants it would look lovely, but alas the Health and Safety bods would never allow it

    Report this comment

    fuztownsend

    Tuesday, February 26, 2013

  • Turn it into art. Insert a load of big paper-masher style wine bottles in it. We could get the schools and colleges of Suffolk to make and paint the bottles to save on costs and it will be a community project then. Shouldn't cost more then a couple of grand (which could be raised) and it would be a constructive way of brighting up the skyline. It may also put Ipswich on the map and bring in some tourism (Stranger things have happened). Evening star you should back this and run a campaign I will even supply you with a few of my students to start!

    Report this comment

    mr_tall

    Tuesday, February 26, 2013

  • I was under the same impression as rumbler...my mother used to work for IBC, and this 'concrete cancer' is the same reason the crown multistorey was pulled down - it became structurally unsafe. I don't know the ins and outs of it, but it's my understanding that the concrete hasn't been treated so that it can withstand the elements...obviously it was never intended to be sat there for years unfinished! The Orwell bridge receives frequent attention so I can only assume it's never run the risk of concrete cancer.

    Report this comment

    BobCat1990

    Wednesday, February 27, 2013

  • @ Tedbundy, yes you do get those sort of people in all major towns and cities, but in my experience and that of people I speak to who live in the places you mentioned Ipswich is by far the worst.

    Report this comment

    RC

    Tuesday, February 26, 2013

  • well if more housing is going to be built anyway in town might as well use a half built building buy it cheap and plenty of skilled unemployed builders could get some work there. sounds like a plan.

    Report this comment

    rumbler

    Tuesday, February 26, 2013

  • @rumbler what tosh, do you think the Orwell Bridge has been exposed to the elements for too long too then?

    Report this comment

    Tedbundy

    Tuesday, February 26, 2013

  • didnt the council sell the land to the builders at a vast profit so cant they buy the land back at a massive discount, and finish the building off or knock it down and build something like an ice rink to bring people to the area for the commercial sector to benefit aswel..

    Report this comment

    jhughes

    Tuesday, February 26, 2013

  • Yes, of course you're right Tedbundy. No-one claimed benefits under the Tory Government. As long as you can blame Labour, it's alright to leave a useless structure standing, I suppose.

    Report this comment

    Marc Turner

    Tuesday, February 26, 2013

  • If you put huge planters on each floor and grew trailing plants it might actually look quite nice.

    Report this comment

    Tamara Knight

    Tuesday, February 26, 2013

  • It doesn't really work that way, does it? First, you need to have the right skills and second, someone still has to come up with the materials.

    Report this comment

    Marc Turner

    Tuesday, February 26, 2013

  • What would it cost to pull it down? And who would pay?

    Report this comment

    Ipswich Man

    Tuesday, February 26, 2013

  • @ theopinionman That's what you get for 13 years of a Labour govt. Ipswich is no different to any other town in this country, you don't think there are chavs, drug users and benefit cheats as you call them in Norwich, Cambridge, Colchester?

    Report this comment

    Tedbundy

    Tuesday, February 26, 2013

  • off topic as usual. seem a bit mad to pull it down as it is built as a shell. if we need more "social housing " get the unemployed in there and finish it off.

    Report this comment

    rumbler

    Tuesday, February 26, 2013

  • I TAKE IT ( OPINION MAN ) IS NOT RETIRED YET ,,,WELL WHEN AND IF YOU DO GET A STATE PENSION ,,YOU WILL THEN BE ON BENEFIT ,,COS THAT'S WHAT ITS CALLED ??

    Report this comment

    MIGUEL100

    Tuesday, February 26, 2013

  • maybe it has different formula to the concrete i was told it was supposed to be clad with something . i am not a multi story building expert ! the orwell bridge does not have 20 odd floors last time i looked either.

    Report this comment

    rumbler

    Tuesday, February 26, 2013

  • “What is needed in Ipswich is more social housing – which is why the council is leading the way on that.” So, more council estates? great news, just what I always wanted.

    Report this comment

    RC

    Tuesday, February 26, 2013

  • rumour has it it has been exposed to the elements for to long and has to be demolished as the concrete suffers ? just what i heard .....

    Report this comment

    rumbler

    Tuesday, February 26, 2013

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

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