Storm-damaged Waterfront landmark The Mill remains an eyesore as owners fail to complete repairs
- Credit: Sarah Lucy brown
There are still no plans to repair damage to a landmark 23-storey waterfront building caused by a major storm one year ago.
In October 2013, Ipswich was hit by the St Jude’s Storm and ferocious winds tore down part of The Mill’s exterior walls.
A wall in nearby College Street collapsed during the storm spilling bricks into the road and part of the one-way system was closed because of the risks to pedestrians.
Shortly after, Ipswich-based T and I Solutions were called to carry out safety work and repairs on the upper floors of The Mill but one year later no further action has taken place.
The building has become an eyesore in what is supposed to be one of Ipswich’s most desirable areas.
During 2007 major development work started at Ipswich Waterfront at two sites, a two-tower development Regatta Quay and the 334-apartment Mill building.
In May 2010 The Mill’s developer Wharfside Regeneration Limited was put into administration by its bank Allied Irish and Baker Tilly Management Limited was appointed administrator following the nationwide recession in 2008, leaving 140 flats in The Mill unfinished.
This came just months after Regatta Quay’s developer City Living Developments Limted also went into administration.
Baker Tilly has declined to comment on whether it plans to fix the damage and finish the project.
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However, Nigel Millar, one of the administrators from Baker Tilly, said the site had been made weathertight and safe.
He said: “After last year’s storms, we instructed experts to carry out a risk assessment at The Mill which included surveying the damage and, as a result, a number of sections of exterior cladding were removed.
“We have recently instructed those experts to carry out a further risk assessment and we will take any actions which are deemed necessary to ensure that the building is safe and secure.
“Since the storm last year we have been working hard to assess the extent of the issues and the required remedial works and our solicitors are progressing this.” He added that the risk assessment was currently in the process of being finalised.
The damaged building, along with the Regatta Quay’s skeletal tower block known as ‘the winerack’, are now symbols of the recession’s effect on The Waterfront and the unfinished plans for one of the town’s most attractive features.