Ipswich: Time has come to rid Waterfront of crumbling eyesore and Portman Road could hold the secret

The Waterfront - The Star is calling on the council to take action over the Stoke Bridge entrance

The Waterfront - The Star is calling on the council to take action over the Stoke Bridge entrance

TODAY The Star calls on the borough to take action to sort out the most pressing problem facing the Waterfront.

Sort out the mess that blights the most important entrance to the town’s jewel – and use compulsory purchase orders to buy the redundant land between Stoke Bridge and the stalled Mill development.

For too long this entrance to the town’s most important feature has been ignored by officials and developers – who are apparently put off by the jigsaw of owners who each have an interest in a comparatively small area of land.

The area includes the long-derelict Pauls malting silo, part of the former Burton’s building, and the wall that surrounds the former St Peter’s Warehouse that was destroyed by fire more than a decade ago and finally demolished in 2009 to become a “temporary” car park.

There are five separate patches of land – with three owners identified by the borough.

The site of the former St Peter’s Warehouse is owned by Anthony Beeson who lives near Needham Market.

The former Pauls malting silo – and a small part of the former Burton’s building is owned by Sassan Holdings with a mortgage held by the Investec Bank.

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The rest of the Burton’s building is split into two separate units, the registered owner of both is Hampden Homes – both are mortgaged to an Irish bank whose assets are now held by the National Asset Management Authority (NAMA).

That is the body that now has control of The Mill and Regatta Quay.

The ownership of St Peter’s Wharf – next to the river and the Wet Dock itself – is unclear and the borough is unable to establish who is responsible for it.

The land is dominated by derelict buildings which are a blight on the entrance to the Waterfront – and are potentially dangerous.

Just last month The Star revealed that the former Burton’s building was being used as a drugs den – and it is thought that vagrants or drug users could have started the fire that destroyed St Peter’s Warehouse in 2000.

Should the borough seek compulsory purchase powers? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail starletters@archant.co.uk