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Drum and Monkey set to come down - to make way for office car park

PUBLISHED: 16:33 01 August 2017 | UPDATED: 13:57 02 August 2017

The Drum and Monkey is set to be demolished and replaced by a temporary car park. Picture: PAUL GEATER

The Drum and Monkey is set to be demolished and replaced by a temporary car park. Picture: PAUL GEATER

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One of the best known pubs in Ipswich is set to be flattened as part of the redevelopment of the town centre's business district.

The Sporting Farmer/Drum and Monkey opened in 1962. This photograph was taken by Albert Gonzalez in the 1980s.The Sporting Farmer/Drum and Monkey opened in 1962. This photograph was taken by Albert Gonzalez in the 1980s.

The Drum and Monkey on Princes Street called last orders a year ago – for the last few years it had been a pub specialising in pool and other games.

It was known as one of the town’s main football pubs – it is the nearest to Portman Road and was previously called The Sporting Farmer.

However now the building, which is owned by Ipswich Borough Council, is set to be demolished allowing the site to eventually be redeveloped, probably with new office buildings.

In the short term it is likely to become a temporary car park with up to 30 spaces. New offices for law firm Birketts are due to open opposite the site early next year, and the council is planning to build a new multi-storey car park on either the land it owns in Portman Road or at the West End Road car park.

During its construction, there will be a need for extra temporary parking spaces in the area.

A report to the council’s executive committee next week says the cost of demolishing the former pub and turning the land into a high-quality temporary car park is estimated to be about £300,000. That would provide an income for the council of about £20,000 a year.

The cost of refurbishing the building to a good enough standard to be a pub again is put at £450,000 – and the site would still need to be redeveloped in a few years time.

Borough council leader David Ellesmere said: “We are going to need extra parking spaces in that area. Our car parks are already nearly full most days and when Birketts arrive and the work starts on the new multi-storey, wherever it is, there will be a need for more spaces.”
The pub was built in the early 1960s when the town’s cattle market was established on Portman Road and it was named The Sporting Farmer to reflect the interests of its main users – farmers and football fans.

During the 1980s it was renamed and after the cattle market closed it concentrated on its sporting regulars.

The council has planning permission to redevelop the garage next to it into a new office building, and may seek to add the pub to this application if there is a demand for a larger development.

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