Fears for future of historic buildings

CALLS was made today for help to protect three historic Ipswich buildings which are among nearly 30 in Suffolk which campaigners say could be lost forever unless action is taken.

CALLS was made today for help to protect three historic Ipswich buildings which are among nearly 30 in Suffolk which campaigners say could be lost forever unless action is taken.

English Heritage's Buildings at Risk Register for 2007 has listed 28 important historic buildings in Suffolk as being at serious risk of further decay and damage.

Three of the buildings are in Ipswich - the Church of St Peter, in College Street, St Lawrence Church, in Dial Lane, and 45 and 45a St Nicholas Street.

Liberal Democrats in Suffolk are calling on the government to act now to save the buildings.


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Andrew Cann, deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats on Suffolk County Council, said: “These buildings are important to our local heritage and their loss would be a big blow.

“English Heritage has suffered a big drop in the amount of money government provides to support our heritage.

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“In 1999, the cash available for these buildings was £6.6million. Last year that dropped to £4.4million.

“In Ipswich, the borough council is currently investing in one of the at risk buildings, St Lawrence Church in Dial Lane, to restore it for community use.

“Building and repair costs are rising and without government action to stop the rot now, I fear schemes like the one we're implementing may become too expensive and some of our great historic buildings could be lost.”

St Lawrence Church is unlikely to remain on the at-risk register for long with it set to be transformed into a community centre.

Thanks to a £700,000 grant from government and a £400,000 contribution from Ipswich Borough Council, the building will be renovated for use by Ipswich residents as well as charities and organisations.

Despite government help to transform St Lawrence Church, Mr Cann said the government could do more to help preserve other buildings by lowering the amount of VAT charged on renovating or extending homes and buildings.

A spokesperson for the department of culture, media and sport was unavailable for comment.

Some of the Suffolk buildings on the Buildings at Risk Register 2007:

Ipswich

Church of St Peter, College Street (north side), Ipswich

St Lawrence Church, Dial Lane, Ipswich

45 & 45a St Nicholas Street, Ipswich

Babergh

Barn north east of Bentley Hall, Bentley Hall Road, Bentley

Lawshall Hall, The Street, Lawshall

Mid Suffolk

Badley Hall, Badley

Badley Hall- Barn 100m south east, Badley

Badley Hall- Dovecote 60m east of Badley Hall, Badley

Drinkstone Post Mill, Woolpit Road, Drinkstone

Eye Priory Guest House, Eye

Barn 200m west of Hall's Farmhouse, Halls Lane, Norton

Suffolk Coastal

Martello Tower "Z", south east of Buckanay Farm, Alderton

Bawdsey Manor, Bawdsey

Transmitter Block, Bawdsey Manor, Bawdsey

Martello Tower "W" at Rose Cottage, Bawdsey

Chapel of St James' Hospital, Dunwich

Grey Friars, Dunwich

Friston Post Mill, Mill Road, Friston

Glevering Hall Orangery, Easton Road, Hacheston

Leiston Abbey (First Site), Leiston

Remains of Sibton Abbey, Sibton

St Margaret's Chapel, Mells, Wenhaston with Mells Hamlet

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