Changing face of the Waterfront

NEW views of Ipswich Waterfront have opened up with the demolition of the former Cranfields depot between Star Lane and Quay Street.For the first time in generations the east front of St Mary At Quay church can be seen from outside.

NEW views of Ipswich Waterfront have opened up with the demolition of the former Cranfields depot between Star Lane and Quay Street.

For the first time in generations the east front of St Mary At Quay church can be seen from outside. But the view will not be clear for too long.

It is likely to be used as a construction depot when work on the nearby The Mill site starts in earnest over the next few months but is eventually set to become a social housing scheme with flats for rent.

The former depot was used as a car park and a car valeting site until earlier this year. Now the demolition of the depot by Waldringfield company CDC is nearly completed.

David Clarke from the company said the work should be completed during the next week.

He said: “We've just got one wall to finish which has been delayed because of an electrical issue.”

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Meanwhile work is now well under way to convert St Peter's Church into a new headquarters for Ipswich Hospital Band and a community and performance centre.

The band was awarded £772,000 by the Heritage Lottery Fund to restore the church, part of which dates back to the 12th century, and the work it is set to be completed early next year.

Ipswich-based construction firm Carters started work in the church earlier this month.

When completed there should be rehearsal rooms for the band, storage facilities for their equipment and a 205-seat performance space which will be available for use for the band and other groups which would be able to hire it.

The church has one of the finest fonts in the country, which was made in France during the middle ages.

Next to it is land which is due to be developed by Braceforce Ltd as two hotels and other businesses - including a small Tesco store.

Development here will not start until early next year because from the middle of next month a massive archaeological dig is set to start on the site which was occupied by Wolsey's College during the early 16th century.

When Wolsey built his college in the 1520s, St Peter's Church was designed to be its chapel, but after it was demolished to provide bricks for extensions to Hampton Court palace, the church reverted to is former use serving parishioners living near the port.

Do you welcome the changes to the Waterfront area? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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