See inside derelict Listed building as plans to open up Waterfront entrance are revealed
PUBLISHED: 19:00 13 July 2020
Plans to open up the entrance of Ipswich Waterfront as part of a long term ambition for the site have taken a step closer, while pictures inside a derelict historic building there have surfaced for the first time showing the bleak state of disrepair.
Ipswich Borough Council bought 4 College Street in 2016 after voicing fears about its condition, with pictures now published in a new planning application revealing the state of the building it inherited.
MORE: Borough council unveils plan for derelict building
The Grade II Listed timber framed merchant’s house, believed to date from the 16th or 17th Century is on the ‘at risk’ register and in need of urgent development.
Last week, the authority submitted a planning application to carry out the necessary renovations that will secure its future, as well as proposals to knock down the walls of the old St Peter’s Warehouse which remain around the perimeter.
It marks a step forward in the regeneration of the Waterfront entrance, with eventual ambitions understood to be for a public open space which connects the Waterfront with the town centre.
Ipswich Borough Council leader David Ellesmere, Labour, said: “The intention is that we keep the garden of 4 College Street but the rest of the wall will be taken down to open up the views to the Waterfront.
“It’s really important because it is a listed building and when we bought it it was in a poor condition, and we have an obligation to look after it.
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“The works we are planning will bring it back into a good state for this important building.”
A masterplan is being drawn up for the Waterfront gateway after the council acquired the Burton’s building and R&W Paul silo, but the long term aim is for that part of the site to be an attractive entrance linking with the town centre.
Mr Ellesmere said: “These are really difficult sites to deal with so we need to plan a strategy for what is going in where, but we are confident that over time we are going to be able to bring that area back into a good use.”
The Waterfront entrance had previously been home to St Peter’s Warehouse, before a fierce blaze in April 2000 destroyed much of it.
It was turned into a temporary car park to bring in some income while long term plans were being formed.
The Labour administration at the council last Christmas agreed to pump £423,000 into revamping 4 College Street to carry out works that would remove it from the at risk register and make it useable to bring in some rental income, including toilet facilities, broadband and disabled access.
But Ian Fisher from the opposition Conservative group said the minimum £35,000 should be spent to bring it off the at risk register and further money being spent should wait until the masterplan for the site was completed.
The plans are likely to go before the council’s planning committee in later summer or early autumn.
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