Former social club next to vacated EADT and Ipswich Star offices to become town houses

Social Club, Lower Brook Street, Ipswich.

Social Club, Lower Brook Street, Ipswich.

Historic buildings that were used as a social club in Ipswich’s Lower Brook Street look set to be converted into three townhouses.

The buildings were used as the staff club for Archant Suffolk – publishers of the Ipswich Star and East Anglian Daily Times – until a few years ago.

The newspapers moved to a new office on the junction of Portman Road and Princes Street last October, and the former offices are set to be demolished to make way for a new retirement housing development for McCarthy and Stone.

Now site owner Montague Asset Management has applied for permission to convert the Grade II listed building back into homes – and to demolish a function room that was built as an extension to the social club in 1969.

Most of the building dates from the 18th century. A cottage was built on the side in the 19th century.

The application is to turn the original house into two town houses – one with three bedrooms and one with four – and to convert the cottage into another three-bedroomed home.

Although the homes all have a second floor, the ceilings would be too low to be living spaces so they could only be used for storage.

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There would be six car parking spaces – two for each property – and each would have a small private garden area.

The building ceased to be used as a social club about 10 years ago although the function room continued to be used for meetings until shortly before the offices moved from Lower Brook Street.

The former car park next to the building is likely to be left as open land because it is a scheduled Ancient Monument as part of the oldest parts of Ipswich.

The application is expected to go before the borough’s planning and development committee during the spring.

However the owner’s architects Barefoot and Gilles have already spoken to planning officers before submitting their formal bid.

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