Building work to start on new Ipswich retirement homes

Lower Brook street,

Construction work is about to start on the former Archant site in Lower Brook Street - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Construction of a new retirement development on the site of the Ipswich Star and EADT's former offices looks set to start - after heavy machinery was moved onto the site.

The land in Lower Brook Street was the home of the two newspapers for 49 years until parent company Archant moved out in 2016.

The Star and EADT were published from Lower Brook Street until 2016.

The Star and EADT were published from Lower Brook Street until 2016 - Credit: Archant

Since then, there has been a major archaeological dig on the site and it has been levelled ready for work to start. 

Retirement homebuilder McCarthy Stone obtained planning permission from Ipswich Borough Council for the new development in 2017.

However, last year the firm announced it was pulling out of the project - the land itself had been bought by Ipswich property developer John Howard.

In the spring, Mr Howard revealed that McCarthy Stone had decided to go ahead with the project after all.

A few weeks ago, the company confirmed that work on the project should start very soon.

This week has seen the first construction plant move on to the site - and McCarthy Stone has started a marketing campaign to persuade potential residents that Lower Brook Street is the ideal place to live.

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The site has already been prepared for development - with Mr Howard saying earlier this year it was "oven-ready" for the scheme to go ahead.

There will be 25 one-bedroom apartments and 26 two-bedroom apartments in the development, as well as 11 two-bedroom cottages.

McCarthy Stone CGI

The first residents are expected to move into the new development in 2023 - Credit: McCarthy Stone

While McCarthy Stone has launched a new element of its website marketing the new homes, the first sales are not expected to be completed until the autumn of 2022.

The first residents of the new development are expected to move in during the first half of 2023.

The development has been widely welcomed as being an important step towards encouraging more people to live in the town centre.

McCarthy Stone is emphasising the easy access from the development to town centre shops, the Waterfront and the railway station.

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