County hall to become flats

PART of one of Ipswich's historic landmarks today looks set to be turned into flats.County Hall in St. Helens Street has been empty since April 2004 when staff and councillors moved to new headquarters at Endeavour House.

PART of one of Ipswich's historic landmarks today looks set to be turned into flats.

County Hall in St. Helens Street has been empty since April 2004 when staff and councillors moved to new headquarters at Endeavour House.

It has since been sold and developers have now submitted a planning application to Ipswich council hoping to redevelop sections of the 17th century site.

The main section of the building, fronting St. Helens Street will remain as it is but Rainbow Developments are hoping to convert St Andrew House from offices into 45 flats.

Lionel Thurlow, the architect behind the scheme, said: "The listed section on St. Helens Street will remain as it is. At the moment we are suggesting that stays in its present use.

"At the moment the big building in Grimwade Street, next to the register office, we propose to convert to flats.

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"At the top there is a light weight construction and we propose taking that off and putting some flats up more modern in appearance."

Mr Thurlow said developers were hoping to build 15 affordable flats at the site which would probably be sold to a social landlord.

He said the other properties would not cost as much as those as those on the Waterfront.

The plans include proposals to demolish buildings in the courtyard to make way for a two-storey block of 15 flats fronting Bond Street.

An additional two-storey block of 12 flats will be built within the courtyard.

Developers are also hoping to build three, two-storey houses fronting Grimwade Street.

A decision is expected to be made on the plans by October 6.

n. What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

N County Hall was built in 1863.

N East Suffolk County Council held their first meeting in the building in 1889.

N Public executions took place outside the building during the 17th century.

N Wallis Simpson's divorce was granted in the building – she later became the reason for Edward VIII's abdication.

N Suffolk County Council held their first meeting in the building in 1974.

N The council held 174 meetings in the building before moving to Endeavour House last year.

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