Demolition of Civic Centre begins

WORK to transform Ipswich's Civic Centre site into a bustling shopping complex is under way in earnest today after demolition of one of the town's biggest eye-sores began.

WORK to transform Ipswich's Civic Centre site into a bustling shopping complex is under way in earnest today after demolition of one of the town's biggest eye-sores began.

Developers Turnstone want to build a multi-million pound retail centre on the site after buying the land from Ipswich Borough Council for more than £8million following the authority's move to new offices in 2006.

The company is currently finalising plans for the development of the new Westgate Centre and is looking to begin a public consultation on the proposals later this month.

Demolition of the building, being carried out by Woodbridge-based firm CDC Demolition, officially got under way yesterday with Mayor of Ipswich Inga Lockington taking the controls of a digger prior to the first piece of the structure being removed. The demolition work is expected to take up to 30 weeks.


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Speaking at the event, James Hehir, chief executive of Ipswich Borough Council, said: “This is particularly important to the council and to the community of Ipswich.

“This building has been a significant part of Ipswich's landscape for many, many years.”

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Nick Scott, director at Turnstone, said: “Demolition is the start of the process and it marks the point of regeneration for this area. We have got some bold ideas for the site and the scheme in general.”

The Evening Star has previously reported that Turnstone was in negotiations with several supermarkets to take up a major unit in the store. It has long been rumoured that Waitrose, Sainsbury and Tesco were interested in the site.

The revamped estate could also include restaurants, bars and other leisure facilities.

Turnstone previously said it hopes the shopping complex could be built in 2009 and 2010.

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