Former Cranfield Mill building on Ipswich Waterfront to be turned into 43 studio flats

The former Cranfields site on the Waterfront which is to be converted into flats.

The former Cranfields site on the Waterfront which is to be converted into flats.

A Victorian building that has been empty for nearly 20 years could have a new lease of life as a block of new studio and one-bedroomed flats.

The building was part of the Cranfield Mill on the Waterfront and was due to be redeveloped as part of the large scale work on the building during the last decade.

However the company carrying out the redevelopment went into administration in May 2010 before any work on that part of the building had started.

It has remained undeveloped ever since – but was acquired from the administrators by Cardinal Lofts (Ipswich) Ltd last year.

Now a planning application to redevelop the site is due to discussed by members of Ipswich Council’s planning and development committee next week.

There are significant changes to the original plans for the building that were approved in 2004 – but planning officers are recommending that the new proposals would be acceptable, with conditions.

The original proposals were for it to be converted into 16 large one and two-bedroomed flats suitable for families with a two-storey extension on the top of the building.

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The new proposal is for the building to be turned into 32 studio flats and 11 one-bedoomed flats.

A three-storey extension would be built on the top of the building, but this would be only slightly taller than the two-storey extension already approved.

No flats would be built on the ground floor which would have a small retail unit and an electricity sub-station serving the flats.

Because of the size of the flats planners say there would be no need for allocated parking for them – although there will be space provided for up to 88 cycles.

Requirements for affordable homes as part of the Mill development have already been met, and the planning officers say that the small size of the flats at the site means it would only be likely to become home to three school-age children.