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Historic features to be restored to Cornhill Post Office as completion date announced

PUBLISHED: 07:30 25 September 2020

Ipswich's former Post Office pictured last October before restoration work began. Historic finials will be restored to the four pillars on the roof. Picture: ARCHANT

Ipswich's former Post Office pictured last October before restoration work began. Historic finials will be restored to the four pillars on the roof. Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

Decorative ornaments missing atop one of Ipswich’s key historic buildings will be restored after more than 70 years.

Ipswich Borough Council's Carole Jones, planning portfolio-holder, said the Post Office was one of the town centre's most important historic buildings. Picture: ARCHANTIpswich Borough Council's Carole Jones, planning portfolio-holder, said the Post Office was one of the town centre's most important historic buildings. Picture: ARCHANT

Ipswich Borough Council’s planning committee on Wednesday unanimously agreed to plans for four finials to be restored as part of the Cornhill former Post Office development.

MORE: £1m refurbishment of Ipswich Cornhill Post Office announced

The ornaments will be made from cast iron and bronze and mounted on Portland stone, which planning officers said would be “as close to identical finials as possible” to the originals.

The Grade II Listed building was constructed in the 1880s, but the finials disappeared in the mid-20th Century.

One of the new stone carvings that will be placed in the restored Old Post Office. Picture: IPSWICH BOROUGH COUNCILOne of the new stone carvings that will be placed in the restored Old Post Office. Picture: IPSWICH BOROUGH COUNCIL

It is understood they may have been removed in the early 1940s as part of the collection of metals for Britain’s Second World War efforts.

With permission secured, it is anticipated that the external work to the vacant building will be complete in early December.

Ipswich Borough Council’s portfolio holder for planning, Carole Jones, said: “It’s a really wonderful application.

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“This is one of our main heritage buildings in the town centre – a major refurbishment and repair of this building that the council has invested in, and brings back historical features.

“It’s something to be praised and I look forward to seeing them.”

The council is working on a major revamp of the space, most notably used as a Post Office but lastly used by Lloyds which vacated in 2015.

The structure needed repairs to the roof, fittings removed from when it was a bank, protection against bird fouling and measures to help maintain the building much more easily.

Details of who a future occupant may be have yet to be announced, but it has been refurbished to appeal to restaurants and leisure operators rather than retailers.

Councillor Sandra Gage said: “I think the work of the council to bring such a prominent building back into use and back to its original build in such a sensitive way is something to be really positive about.

MORE: Ipswich Post Office restoration halted by coronavirus pandemic

“I think it’s really important for the town to have this sort of work taking place – it offers us hope for the future.”

The £1million restoration had to be halted during the coronavirus lockdown, but workers have been back on site to complete work since the summer.


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