Mill redevelopment will start soon

WORK to turn Cranfields Mill into the landmark redevelopment on Ipswich Waterfront is due to start within the next few weeks.Construction giant Laing O'Rourke has been signed up to build the massive new development which will feature a 23-storey tower block, the tallest in Suffolk, at its heart.

WORK to turn Cranfields Mill into the landmark redevelopment on Ipswich Waterfront is due to start within the next few weeks.

Construction giant Laing O'Rourke has been signed up to build the massive new development which will feature a 23-storey tower block, the tallest in Suffolk, at its heart.

It will also provide a new home for Dance East and space for cafés and offices as well as more than 300 homes ranging from small studio flats to three-bedroomed penthouses.

The Victorian flour mill has been demolished by Suffolk-based contractors CDC who have been undertaking preparatory work before work on the new building starts.

Archaeologists have been working on the site to find out more about Ipswich's Anglo-Saxon past but should have finished their work by the end of the month when piledriving can begin.

The building work is expected to take at least two years to complete - the first flats are unlikely to be ready for occupation before the beginning of 2009 when the dance centre should also open.

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The developer of the site, Waterfront Regeneration Ltd., also owns two former Cranfields sites between Star Lane and Key Street.

The site to the east, opposite the Old Custom House, is to be used for affordable housing which will be available for rent or part-purchase in association with a housing association.

The site to the west, next to St Mary at the Quay church and which is currently used for parking and car valet services, will be occupied by a hotel.

Work on these sites is expected to start once the construction work on the main site is well under way.