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What’s next for this historic Ipswich landmark?

PUBLISHED: 08:36 08 November 2018 | UPDATED: 16:45 09 November 2018

Anglesea Heights Care Home, which closed its doors last year Picture: ARCHANT

Anglesea Heights Care Home, which closed its doors last year Picture: ARCHANT

Questions surround the future of an Ipswich landmark which has stood empty for several months.

Anglesea Heights Care Home from the air in June 1992. Anglesea Road is at the top of the picture and Ipswich School and Ivry Street are in the foreground Picture: OWEN HINESAnglesea Heights Care Home from the air in June 1992. Anglesea Road is at the top of the picture and Ipswich School and Ivry Street are in the foreground Picture: OWEN HINES

People were left shocked when Anglesea Heights, one of the town’s biggest care homes, shut its doors earlier this year.

Owners Bupa confirmed the facility closed over a “lack of local demand”, with only 40 people living there despite a capacity of 120.

The historic site – which has featured on Ipswich’s skyline for several decades – was once home to Anglesea Road Hospital.

Now a planning application has gone in to clean up the site – but according to the council, it is still up for sale.

The original Anglesea Road Hospital in a photograph taken in the 1850s, from a building at the top of Berners Street, by Ipswich pharmacist John Wiggin, a pioneering photographer, one of the first taking photographs in Ipswich. Picture: NICK WIGGIN 
The original Anglesea Road Hospital in a photograph taken in the 1850s, from a building at the top of Berners Street, by Ipswich pharmacist John Wiggin, a pioneering photographer, one of the first taking photographs in Ipswich. Picture: NICK WIGGIN

An Ipswich Borough Council spokesman said they are unaware of any potential interest in the Ivry Street site, even with this latest move.

“We have not received any applications regarding the future of the site but we understand it is for sale,” he said.

“We would welcome early proposals from the new owners.”

Michelle Smith, acquisitions director for Bupa UK, said: “The property is up for sale, and we’re confident it will go to a suitable buyer.”

A new accident and emergency department opened at Anglesea Road, Ipswich hospital, in 1967. This was the entrance in Ivry Street Picture: IVAN SMITHA new accident and emergency department opened at Anglesea Road, Ipswich hospital, in 1967. This was the entrance in Ivry Street Picture: IVAN SMITH

After carrying out an initial assessment, Ground Control – acting on behalf of the site’s owners – want to cut back overhanging shrubbery and trees affecting the boundary wall and fences.

It is understood issues have been reported in nearby Ivry Street, although workers also plan to clear up features within the boundary.

On-site security has been installed while the building is vacant.

READ MORE: Days Gone By – From hospital to care home, the history of Anglesea Heights

Proposals submitted late last month set out plans to strim all grass areas, weeds from car park areas and access paths to the main building. If the application is given the green light by planners, water features will also be de-weeded and all curb edges in the car park and access road will also be cleaned up.

The entrance to Anglesea Road Hospital in the 1960s. The original two storey building, with its four columns, had a floor added in 1869. This photograph was taken from Berners Street. Picture: DAVID KINDRED ARCHIVE 
The entrance to Anglesea Road Hospital in the 1960s. The original two storey building, with its four columns, had a floor added in 1869. This photograph was taken from Berners Street. Picture: DAVID KINDRED ARCHIVE

The prominent town centre site has a rich history, dating back to the Victorian era.

Anglesea Road Hospital opened in August 1836 with 50 beds, after £2,500 was raised by the public.

A third storey was added to the building in 1869 and a children’s wing was erected in 1875, as a memorial to former Ipswich MP John Cobbold.

Over the years, the facility expanded to cover much of the site, which spans over Henley Road and Warrington Road.

Berners Street, Ipswich, in January 1966, when parking was allowed on both sides of the street. The Anglesea Road wing of the Ipswich and East Suffolk Hospital is in the background  Picture: DAVID KINDRED
 
Berners Street, Ipswich, in January 1966, when parking was allowed on both sides of the street. The Anglesea Road wing of the Ipswich and East Suffolk Hospital is in the background Picture: DAVID KINDRED

Access issues for accident and emergency arrivals in Ivry Street, and limited parking for staff, outpatients and visitors, led to the eventual relocation of wards and services to Heath Road.

By 1988, all services had moved and new buildings were constructed around the original Victorian site.

Anglesea Heights care home opened in 1991.

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