Ipswich: Waterfront eyesore left open to drug addicts and rough sleepers will be boarded up

The old Burtons building on the Ipswich waterfront is set to be boarded up

The old Burtons building on the Ipswich waterfront is set to be boarded up

AN eyesore on Ipswich’s Waterfront which attracts drug addicts and rough sleepers will be boarded up after The Star raised concerns over the crumbling building.

A month after our report revealed the dire state of the Old Burtons building, Ipswich Borough Council has served the owners with an enforcement notice.

Shock photographs obtained by The Star highlighted the shocking state of the derelict Burtons building, located at the western tip of the quayside.

The former factory and office block, at the Stoke Bridge end of the Waterfront, is just 50 metres from the historic Wolsey Gate – built 480 years ago and one of Ipswich’s most iconic landmarks.

Littered with used hypodermic needles and associated paraphernalia, the ground floor had been transformed into a drug den – just yards from DanceEast, which is visited by hundreds of youngsters each week.

Blackened spoons have been discarded, while graffiti adorns the walls. One message reads: “Welcome to hell.”

And the images showed evidence that people have been sleeping rough in the building, with mattresses on the floor and the remnants of fires also visible.

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Visiting the building, Star reporters discovered easily accessible routes inside through unsecured windows.

A spokesman for the borough council said the planning committee was “pleased” the owners appear to be willing to board up and make safe the ground and first floor windows.

He said: “In regard to the repairs to parts of the Burtons building we are pleased that the owners have indicated they are willing to undertake these works.”

Meanwhile, another enforcement notice has been served on Persimmon Homes to repair a deteriorating wall at Orwell Quay.

The spokesman said: “We want Persimmon to undertake repairs to the quay wall to an acceptable standards and that is the basis for our action.”

Enforcement notices are used by the authority to “investigate alleged contraventions of planning control and, where appropriate, to negotiate or pursue formal enforcement action” or to “monitor approved development during the construction period”.

A spokesperson for Persimmon Homes Essex said: “We received a letter from Ipswich Borough Council on January 17 with a ‘Requisition For Information’ request.

“We provided to John Pallant at Ipswich Borough Council details of the land owners within the 21 days as requested.

“To date Persimmon Homes Essex has received no further communication from Ipswich Borough Council.”