Derelict eyesore is razed to the ground

RELIEVED residents are today bidding farewell to a much-maligned housing development in Ipswich which became a haven for drug users and vandals.

RELIEVED residents are today bidding farewell to a much-maligned housing development in Ipswich which became a haven for drug users and vandals.

Demolition has begun to tear down the derelict Clumpfields development off Cambridge Drive to make way for new affordable social housing.

A total of 36 properties, half of them houses, will be built by ISG Jackson on the old sheltered housing site by next April.

Clumpfields has lay unoccupied and boarded up for more than a decade after it was used for specialist housing for elderly people by housing association, Raglan.

During those years the area's reputation was tarnished by crime and became a hotspot for youngsters to loiter, as well as a popular location for fly-tipping.

Councillor Steven Wells, housing chief at Ipswich Borough Council, was instrumental in regaining ownership of the land from Raglan and striking a new deal with Orwell Housing.

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He said: “During the years it was unoccupied it became a spot for anti-social behaviour, high levels of vandalism and drug use. People in the area must be breathing a sigh of relief as they watch it come down.

“We decided we had to resolve the situation and began talks with Raglan but for them to come out of the lease we needed to buy them out.

“Negotiations took quite some time because the site was very difficult to develop, not only because of the layout. We also had to cleanse the site of Japanese knotweed which creates a real issue and can ruin even the newest foundations.

“The new development will be used for affordable social housing which will benefit those most in need of accommodation.”

The �3.6million project will include homes ranging from two-bed apartments to five-bed houses, all constructed from sustainable timber frames.

The development has been designed to compliment the local environment.

Construction company ISG Jackson plans to re-use material removed from the old building and keep or replant existing trees in the area.

Are you happy to see Clumpfields come down? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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