Belstead House on the edge of Ipswich to be redeveloped alongside a new community for the over-50s
PUBLISHED: 14:03 31 December 2014 | UPDATED: 14:03 31 December 2014
One of the best-known properties on the edge of Ipswich could be redeveloped at the heart of a new 155-home community aimed at older residents - and a new 65-bed care home.
Belstead House timeline
Parts of Belstead House date from the 16th or early 17th century but it was rebuilt and extended in 1936 when it took on its present form.
It was originally known as Hill House and was at the heart of a 106-acre farm before its name was changed in the 1920s.
In 1948 it was bought by East Suffolk County Council and was used as a Judges’ Lodgings when High Court Judges visited the town’s court during a circuit tour from London.
When it was not being used by judges, Belstead House started to be used as an adult education centre.
This use increased after it ceased to be the Judges’ Lodgings in 1974. From then on it was used for residential courses and for county council meetings when there was a need to get out of the main offices.
This use continued until 2012, when the opening of Landmark House on the Whitehouse industrial estate on the north west of Ipswich made it redundant.
It was put up for sale by the county council two years ago with a £2 million price tag.
Belstead House has been empty since Suffolk County Council moved out two years ago.
Now developer Rural Community Housing Limited has submitted a planning application to Babergh Council for a major redevelopment of the house and the land near it.
Belstead House itself would be converted into four large homes to be sold on the open market.
Of the 155 homes, 44 would be for sale or rent on the open market, the rest would be affordable. The developer is looking at a predominantly over-50s age group for the new homes.
The care home would be built on one side of the development, with a number of sheltered housing units being built nearby.
The application was submitted to Babergh council earlier this year, and people have until January 5 to comment on the proposed development.
It is expected to be discussed by Babergh’s planning committee during the first half of 2015.
Peter Burgoyne is one of two Babergh councillors for Pinewood, which includes Belstead House.
He has met with the developer and said he was aware of the “interesting” proposals for the site – which he understood could help provide accommodation for people working at nearby Belstead School.
He said: “There hasn’t been a great deal of local concern – in fact the only representation I have had is in favour of the proposal.”
He understood the developers hoped to maintain public access to meadows near Belstead Brook once the building work was complete.
The developers are known to be excited by the proposals and are working with Hadleigh-based architects Wincer Kievenaar to draw up the proposals for the site.