Plans lodged for development of former Foyer housing support centre in Ipswich

The Foyer in Star Lane, Ipswich closed in March 2017, but could become private rented accomodation P

The Foyer in Star Lane, Ipswich closed in March 2017, but could become private rented accomodation Picture: SU ANDERSON - Credit: Su Anderson

A housing support centre in Ipswich which helped vulnerable young adults for more than 20 years could be in line for development if plans are approved.

The Foyer in Star Lane was a lifeline for young people in need of housing for two decades, before its closure in March last year as a result of the contract not being renewed.

A planning application has now been submitted by Ipswich-based firm Sai Asha Ltd to allow the building to be used as a house of multiple occupation.

The application said that the current building has 47 bedrooms, with the developers having no plan to change the number of rooms or layout of the site.

The application documents prepared by agents Last and Tricker Partnership added: “The existing building is deemed to meet the needs of the client without making any changes to the building or the site.”

Suffolk County Council has confirmed that it no longer owns the building and has no involvement with the application.

It is believed the building would become private rented accommodation, although it is not yet clear if this will be aimed at students for the nearby University of Suffolk.

A spokeswoman from the university said that it had no involvement in the application.

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The plans are in the consultation period and will go for a decision from November.

A spokesman on behalf of the developers has been approached for comment but was unavailable at the time of publication.

The facility had been run by Centra until its closure in March 2017, and offered up to two years of supported housing to people aged between 16 and 24, allowing them to continue their education, apprenticeships or work.

Centra had voiced plans to close the centre in May 2016 because of financial struggles and extensive repairs needed to the building.

A petition started by a former resident secured 3,000 signatures, with further support for it to remain open through a public consultation run by Centra.

That November the firm pledged to keep the centre open if its contract bid was successful, but Centra was informed it was unsuccessful, and the centre closed in March 2017.

From April, housing support services for young people transferred to YMCA Suffolk and Orwell Housing Association.

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