Ipswich council to build 30 flats on church site

The Orwell Centre in Ipswich, where Hope Church is based. Picture: JASON NOBLE

The Orwell Centre in Ipswich, where Hope Church is based. Picture: JASON NOBLE - Credit: Archant

Residents of east Ipswich have two days to see and comment on plans for 30 new council homes on the former site of the Hope Church in Fore Hamlet.

The building that was home to the church for many years is set to be flattened after it moved to the former Odeon Cinema on Major's Corner at the end of last year.

It is owned by the borough which leased it to the church - but now the site is to be redeveloped for housing.

Council-owned Handford Homes are bringing forward plans to redevelop the site.

The proposed development would see the building replaced with up to 30 high-quality one and two-bed flats, some of which will be suitable for wheelchair users.

The development would be in two blocks ranging from three-storey to six-storey in height with the main block occupying the footprint of the current building on the site and facing Fore Hamlet.

New and enhanced landscaping would be included to complement the green feel of the site and the existing mature trees will be retained.

The planned development would also have on-site car parking to prevent spill-over into neighbouring streets.

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The flats would be managed by the council and would make a useful contribution to its housing programme.

A public consultation is to be held by Handford Homes in Fore Hamlet where members of the public will be able to give their views.

Architects for the project will be available at Venue 77 (attached to the Gardener’s Arms public house) in Fore Hamlet, Ipswich this week on Wednesday from 4pm to 8pm and on Thursday from 1pm to 5pm.

Council planners are expected to discuss the detailed proposals later in the year.

The council announced its plan to redevelop the site in July 2020 when Hope Church completed the purchase of the former cinema.

The church was able to remain there until the end of last year on a peppercorn rent - but completed its move into the former Odeon in September which has now been renamed the Hope Centre.