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What is next for the largest unfinished buildings at Ipswich Waterfront entrance?

PUBLISHED: 07:30 10 January 2020 | UPDATED: 13:49 10 January 2020

The Mill tower at the entrance to Ipswich Waterfront still has to be completed.  Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

The Mill tower at the entrance to Ipswich Waterfront still has to be completed. Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Charlotte Bond

Questions marks are being asked about the future of the two largest buildings at that end of Ipswich Waterfront’s historic Wet Dock – The Mill tower and the former Paul’s Silo.

David Ellesmere, leader of  Ipswich Borough Council, beside the silo that needs to be cleaned before surveyors can move in. Picture: SU ANDERSONDavid Ellesmere, leader of Ipswich Borough Council, beside the silo that needs to be cleaned before surveyors can move in. Picture: SU ANDERSON

It was announced this week that the former Burton's building on the Waterfront is to be converted into a new arts hub, bringing a huge boost for that part of the town.

However, The Mill tower is still incomplete. There are no flats completed in the tallest building in Ipswich and it is still in the hands of administrators as legal talks about who is responsible for the cladding that became dislodged in the St Jude's Storm in 2013.

Ipswich council leader David Ellesmere said there appeared to be no immediate prospect of a conclusion to the legal issue.

The former Paul's Silo is now owned by the borough - which also owns the former Burton's building which obtained planning permission for its conversion earlier this week.

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But Mr Ellesmere said there were no firm plans for the silo - it had not yet been possible to establish the state of the building.

He said: "It has been empty for many years and the pigeons have taken over. That means it has not been possible to get inside the building to carry out a full survey so we don't know exactly what needs to be done or whether it can be restored.

"Our aim is that in the tender for a company to clean out the Burton's buildings, we will include specialist cleaning inside the silo so it will be fit for surveyors to go in."

The aim is currently to convert the existing building so it has retail, entertainment, or commercial uses at the bottom with several floors of flats above.

But Mr Ellesmere conceded that any proposals were likely to be some time in the future: "I suspect the silo will be one of the last projects to be completed at that part of the Waterfront - but we are looking at proposals for the whole area that we own including the lodge on College Street."

While the Silo and The Mill tower are still awaiting full redevelopment, work is nearing completion on The Winerack with flats there either on the market or already sold.

There are also proposals for new townhouses to be built nearby on the former B&Q site on the opposite side of Grafton Way to Cardinal Park as part of the regeneration of that part of the Ipswich Riverside over the next few years.

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