Work to start on new Ipswich town centre retirement homes
- Credit: McCarthy Stone
Homebuilder McCarthy Stone is set to start building a new development in the heart of Ipswich "imminently" after years of delays.
The company will finally start work on the site in Lower Brook Street, which was previously home to Ipswich Star and EADT publisher Archant, soon with the first homes going on the market towards the end of next year.
The first residents of the new retirement homes will move in during the spring of 2023.
It has been a tortuous journey to get to this point. Archant moved out in 2016 after the building had been sold to Ipswich property developer John Howard who had an agreement to sell it on to McCarthy Stone once it had been cleared and archaeological digs had been completed.
That took longer than expected - but McCarthy Stone went ahead with their planning application and was granted permission for the 51-home development in 2017.
The delays to the digs caused frustration to Mr Howard, and the pandemic's arrival last year caused further problems. In September 2020 McCarthy Stone announced it was no longer going ahead with the scheme.
However, in May this year Mr Howard told a conference on the future of the town centre that McCarthy Stone had come back and were completing the purchase of the site.
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Now a spokeswoman has confirmed the start of work.
She said: “I can confirm that construction is set to get underway imminently on a new McCarthy Stone Retirement Living development on Lower Brook Street in Ipswich.
"We are currently scheduled to release the first apartments for off plan sales in autumn 2022. Rental and part buy part rent options will also be available.
"The first homeowners are expected to move in to the new community in spring 2023. We look forward to sharing more plans for this new development for the over 60s in due course.”
The news was welcomed by Ipswich Central, whose offices are opposite the site in Lower Brook Street.
Chief executive Paul Clement said: "It’s fantastic news and the first real development that moves us towards a connected town centre. We need more and to think about what new residents will need around them - doctors, green spaces, walking routes, vets etc."