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Changing face of Ipswich skyline

PUBLISHED: 23:00 21 June 2005 | UPDATED: 05:56 02 March 2010

IPSWICH Waterfront's skyline is about to change out of all recognition in a move which is both a great opportunity - and a challenge for developers building new homes.

IPSWICH Waterfront's skyline is about to change out of all recognition in a move which is both a great opportunity - and a challenge for developers building new homes.

As attention switches to the major developments at the town end of the Waterfront – Cranfields, Burtons and Pauls Maltings – the area is being turned into a large building site.

Already reconstruction work has started at Burtons and with work at Cranfields set to follow soon, the area is likely to be very noisy and messy for more than two years.

The area could remain a building site for much longer – the work to redevelop Pauls Maltings is still some way off and there is still no firm timescale for work on the St Peter's Port development.

All this means that people buying flats in the first developments to be completed – like Cardinal Lofts – will have to accept building work going on around them for several years.

However that is not putting people off – the fact that Cardinal Lofts was completely pre-sold before work started showed that.

Demolition work on Cranfields is due to start very soon – and the former grain silo will be among the first things to go.

It will be replaced by a 23-storey tower block that is set to dominate the Waterfront skyline.

Knight Developments have published proposals to transform the former Pauls Maltings between Cranfields and the Old Custom House into a new theatre for the Red Rose Chain and a 15-storey tower block of flats.

And Braceforce Ltd – the company behind Cardinal Lofts – is promoting St Peters Port which would bring new hotel beds to the town as well as more homes.

But planners at Civic Centre are still waiting to hear about proposals to develop the other Paul's Specialist Silo – beside Cardinal Lofts – and the St Peter's Warehouse site which was badly damaged by fire in 2000.

Although these two sites are in separate ownership – and neither are owned by the company behind the other Paul's development, it is vital that any proposals to redevelop them are undertaken simultaneously because they share a common wall.

Strategic planners at Civic Centre accept it will be many years before all the projects are completed – but don't think this is necessarily a bad thing.

Chief planning officer Mike Smith said: "You are never going to get everything done at once, but that's probably just as well.

"If everything was happening at the same time, the town wouldn't be able to cope."


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