Could work restart on Ipswich’s “Wine Rack” next year?

Developer John Howard has bought the 'wine rack ' building on the Ipswich Waterfront.

Developer John Howard has bought the 'wine rack ' building on the Ipswich Waterfront. - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

A new planning application which should clear the way for work to restart on Ipswich Waterfront’s notorious “Wine Rack” tower is due to be discussed next month.

Officially described as “Regatta Quay Block A”, the 20-storey tower has remained unfinished since the original developers City Living called in administrators in 2009.

However earlier this year Ipswich-based property developer John Howard agreed to buy the tower and complete the work.

Before all the paperwork can be completed, the borough’s planning and development committee needs to agree the work can be done, and yesterday’s meeting was due to make the final decision.

However members felt that the application was essentially a re-submission of the 2009 application – and there had been significant changes to the proposal since then.

They wanted more clarity on the materials that would cover the tower, which will be a key landmark in the Waterfront, and needed full details on the financial contributions the developer will make to local services.

There have been significant changes to the proposal – the neighbouring block will not now be built and the land is being turned into a surface car park with landscaping.

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Councillors felt they were unable to make a final decision yesterday and asked for the item to be deferred until their next meeting which is scheduled for November 26.

Executive member for planning and development Carole Jones told the meeting that everyone was keen to see the work be completed.

She said: “This has been something we have wanted to see happen for years, but we have to be sure we know what we are approving and we need to get clarity before we make the decision.”