Ipswich: New Electric House gets the green light

IPSWICH: Proposals to redevelop one of the best-known landmarks in the town centre have been given the go-ahead.

Now developers behind the project to rebuild Electric House in Tower Ramparts are hoping to be able to get on with the scheme by the middle of next year.

An application to demolish all but the facade of Electric House and build a new futuristic building behind it was given outline planning permission by Ipswich council yesterday.

The move will now enable the developers to try to sign up tenants which would enable the project to go ahead.

Architect Roger Gilles, of Barefoot and Gilles, came up with the stunning new design and was delighted that it got the backing of councillors.

He said: “The developers still have to get detailed planning permission, but the principle has been established and that allows them to go ahead with some serious talks with potential tenants.

“The permission allows for retail, restaurant, leisure, or office space to be created – so the options are really left wide open.”

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The redevelopment of the building could cost up to �5million.

Mr Gilles said it was possible that there could be a restaurant on the ground floor, retail units above it and a terrace restaurant at the top of the building.

He said: “There will be intensive talks over the next few weeks to try to get deals sewn up – if things go well it is possible that the developers could be in a position to start work by the middle of next year.”

Ipswich council’s planning and development committee approved the outline application by a majority vote to approve the application which will include a �20,000 contribution to improving the nearby Tower Ramparts bus station.

Officers had recommended the application be approved by councillors.

n Will the new Electric House be an improvement for the town? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk