Delay on Ipswich Building Society Princes Street branch down to listed building conditions

Ipswich Building Society chief executive Paul Winter outside what is to be the society's new town ce

Ipswich Building Society chief executive Paul Winter outside what is to be the society's new town centre branch in Ipswich. - Credit: Archant

Plans for Ipswich Building Society to move its flagship branch into the empty Chelsea House in Princes Street are set to go to the planning committee in February after delays surrounding listed building conditions.

The building society announced in October that it planned to move out of the Sailmakers shopping centre and into the vacant unit on the corner of Princes Street and King Street, which was previously occupied by Chelsea Building Society.

But a number of hurdles surrounding listed building conditions delayed the process for the renamed Mutual House.

Architects Hoopers recently met with the borough council’s conservation officer Mike Taylor to identify layout changes to adhere to the Grade II listed building’s conditions.

A statement on the updated application said: “The extent of the Grade II listing is confined to the gothic style Parr’s Bank building. Although internally connected with its neighbour (the three bay building fronting Princes St, with the fire damaged GRP), the neighbouring structure is not listed and the proposed internal ramp alterations will not require listed building consent.”

Listed building consent is being sought for removal of a structural column and plans to expose the designs of the original ceiling.

Ipswich Building Society bosses said they hoped the space could be used for both education and community activities

The application is currently in the consultation phase and is due to go before the borough council’s planning committee in February.

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A spokeswoman from Ipswich Building Society said: “When the premises came onto the market we were keen to own this small part of historic Ipswich.

“Of course, being a listed building we have had additional considerations when designing the layout but our primary concern is to retain and celebrate the wonderful original features of Mutual House, working closely with conservation officers to also ensure our flagship branch meets the needs of our members.”

The building is set to be opened in summer 2017.