Old garages demolished as Ipswich business district moves ahead
PUBLISHED: 11:30 02 September 2020 | UPDATED: 16:05 02 September 2020
Demolition work has started on former garages in Ipswich which are being cleared to make way for a major redevelopment of the Princes Street/Portman Road area.
The garages were closed at the end of last year and demolition work had been due to start at Easter, just as the lockdown hit the country.
The work is now underway, which will leave another area of vacant land that was earmarked for a new temporary car park in the short-term.
The plan was that this should replace the temporary car park created on the site of the old Drum and Monkey pub next door. That site is earmarked for a new hotel and full planning permission for that is due to be sought very soon.
In the long-term, the garages’ site is due to become a new office block and outline planning permission for that is also due to be sought by Ipswich Borough Assets’ development company in the next few weeks.
However, the company accepts that is now a medium to long-term aspiration, because it could be some time before the market for new office space takes off in the wake of the lockdown and the change in office culture that it appears to have launched.
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The surface car parks in the area are due to be replaced by a new council multi-storey car park, creating the same number of spaces currently on what used to be the town’s former cattle market.
In the long-term, this could lead to the redevelopment of the whole area. However, depending on the national and international economy, in the medium-term it could be landscaped to provide some communal open space next to the football ground.
Ipswich Borough Assets and its development company are both owned by the borough council.
Last weekend, council leader David Ellesmere used his regular column to point out that the proposed new multi-storey car park would not create new parking spaces, but would replace those which are likely to be lost through future developments.
The clearing of the former garages will see the end of the last non–commercial space on Princes Street, which has been designated in the town’s master plan as the centre of Ipswich’s business district between the railway station and the traditional town centre.
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