Ipswich: Work forges ahead at former Crane site as new John Lewis store takes step closer

WORK to turn an abandoned industrial complex into Ipswich’s newest retail and business park continues to push forward today – despite setbacks.

Thousands of tonnes of rubble are being removed from the 44-acre former Crane Engineering site in Nacton Road to make way for the giant Futura Business Park.

And work is well under way on the 100,000sq ft John Lewis At Home and Waitrose store which will occupy about a quarter of the park.

But construction bosses have faced problems. On May 15 asbestos was found at the site – although this wasn’t wholly unexpected.

Speaking at the time, Paul Isaacs, managing director of AquiGen, the company developing the site, said they had expected to find asbestos given the age of the plot.

He said the company was working with the Health And Safety Executive over the finds, with specialists also working on site.

He added: “We have found asbestos, but we were expecting to find it so we are keeping it all under control.”

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And just last week the site hit the headlines again when bomb disposal experts were called after workmen discovered what they believed to be a Second World War bomb.

Work at the site was halted and the area evacuated after the suspected bomb was found.

A spokesman for the bomb squad said the item, described as being the same size as a wine bottle, was actually a 105mm artillery shell and was not live.

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