County Hall safe amid move talks

THE future of Suffolk's county hall seems to be secure despite the county council's proposed move away from the site.Councillors are hoping to take advantage of a cut price deal to purchase TXU's partially-built multi-million pound office block in the heart of Ipswich for about £18million - just over half of its estimated value.

THE future of Suffolk's county hall seems to be secure despite the county council's proposed move away from the site.

Councillors are hoping to take advantage of a cut price deal to purchase TXU's partially-built multi-million pound office block in the heart of Ipswich for about £18million - just over half of its estimated value.

The move would mean that the beautiful old buildings of county hall on St Helen's Street, Ipswich, would be emptied and sold off.

This may lead to fears that the Grade II listed site, a former jail and court house, could end up in the hands of unscrupulous developers who may wish to fully use this area of land by getting rid of the buildings.

But according to Ipswich Borough Council conservation officer Bob Kindred this possibility is very remote.

He said: "I do not think it is likely that the building will disappear. We have only lost nine historic buildings in the last 25 years and those have been because of things like the fire at the Buttermarket.

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"The Secretary of State will not allow the demolition of listed building that are in good condition and still being used so I cannot see any possible circumstances of that happening.

Mr Kindred, who also sits on the National Committee for Preservation Trusts, feels that the combination of vast, spacious rooms and smaller offices inside county hall would prove to be very useful for any businesses wishing to move in.

"It is quite easy to see ways in which all the various parts of the building can be adapted to new uses," he added.

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