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Hitch causes delay to new court house

PUBLISHED: 18:41 09 February 2002 | UPDATED: 11:19 03 March 2010

BUILDING work on a new Ipswich courthouse has been delayed for more than six months due to a planning hitch.

The state-of-the-art complex, which will replace the current Ipswich Crown Court in Civic Drive, was due to open in the autumn of 2003.

BUILDING work on a new Ipswich courthouse has been delayed for more than six months due to a planning hitch.

The state-of-the-art complex, which will replace the current Ipswich Crown Court in Civic Drive, was due to open in the autumn of 2003.

But a problem with a similar development in Cambridge will mean work will not be completed there until March 2004 at the earliest.

The delay has arisen because the developers have had to apply for highway "stopping up" permission before they can start on a new building for Cambridge Crown Court and that could take up to five months to obtain.

Ross Taylor, court manager at Ipswich Crown Court, said: "The new building is being provided by a Private Finance Initiative and neither the Ipswich or Cambridge court can be built without the other.

"It is frustrating for us because we cannot provide the quality facilities that the new building will offer."

The four-storey courthouse will have five courts and facilities including witness waiting rooms, interview rooms and coffee bars.

Mr Taylor said: "At the moment we do not see any other problems, but one cannot see all the pitfalls in the future.

"The new timetable will mean building work will go through two winters rather than just one.

"If there is a few weeks of bad weather, then that could delay the building work even further, but we are hopeful that that will not happen."

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