Ipswich: First pictures of new multi-million-pound University Campus Suffolk student village for Waterfront

IPSWICH: These are the first pictures of bold proposals for a multi-million pound development which it is hoped will help regenerate part of Ipswich.

Plans for new student accommodation, shops and offices in the Waterfront area went on display to the public today.

The development, earmarked for derelict land between Key Street and Fore Street, would be made up of more than 400 flats for students at University Campus Suffolk (UCS) as well as a creche and medical centre.

A planning application has yet to be submitted for but if it gets the green light part of the project could be built by September next year.

Georgina Challis, an associate at Peecock Short Property Solutions, which is sponsoring the project, said: “The facilities would be used by students as well as members of the public.

“It’s a big development but one which will help to regenerate the area. It will also help to improve access to the Waterfront.

“We’re keen to hear people’s thoughts at the exhibition and have a number of plans including a model on display.”

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The development would comprise two blocks – one a 12-storey tower structure and the other a four-storey block rising to six floors.

Paul Weston, a director for Archial Architects, which has drawn up the plans, said: “The development would remain in keeping with the area’s facade.

“There is big demand for student accommodation in Suffolk.”

If approved, one section of accommodation could be built by September 2012 with the remainder opening one year after that.

“We already have approval from UCS and are speaking to contractors about potential schedules. This is a really important development and a big scheme for Ipswich.”

Businesses in the area have already backed the plans.

Tanya Hart, events manager at Isaacs in Wherry Quay, said: “We welcome any new development on the Waterfront.

“Anything that will lead to more regeneration and get more people down to this area of the town is great for us.”

Jay Harvey, co-ordinator of the Waterfront Action group, said he believes residents will also back the project.

However, he added that the development could further separate the Waterfront from the town centre.

The plans were being made available to view at Tudor Barn on the development site until 2pm today.

n What do you think of the plans for the student accommodation? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk