Multi-million pound boost for waterfront

HUNDREDS of new homes are set to be built as part of a new £25million development linking Ipswich waterfront with the town centre.Custom House Square would be created on the site of the former headquarters of animal feed firm BOCM Pauls, opposite the Old Custom House.

HUNDREDS of new homes are set to be built as part of a new £25million development linking Ipswich waterfront with the town centre.

Custom House Square would be created on the site of the former headquarters of animal feed firm BOCM Pauls, opposite the Old Custom House.

The development includes 214 new flats - about a quarter of which would be social housing - a new indoor craft market, workshops, and retail units.

The site would also incorporate a historic Tudor barn and would give public access to the Jewish burial ground, one of the often-overlooked historical jewels in the town.


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The 1930s façade of the buildings facing Key Street would be retained, and feature as one side of the craft market.

Architect Trevor Horne said developers ESHA homes had been working with him to draw up plans for the development over the last two years.

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He said: “We were very keen to come up with a development that provided a mix of uses, and helped to open up the Custom House and make it easier for people to walk between the town and the Waterfront.”

One of the features of the proposal is a new square in front of the Old Custom House which would be paved.

Traffic will be able to continue using Key Street, but the effect of the paving should slow it down.

“That should act as a traffic-calming measure and make the traffic less intimidating for people walking to the Waterfront,” Mr Horne said.

The largest building on the site will be 12 storeys with a café on the ground floor and flats above. It will be styled with a two-storey beacon at the top to give the appearance of a lighthouse,

The full application for the scheme is due to be submitted to Ipswich council's planners next month - but officers have already had hours of discussion with the developers and architects.

Mr Horne said he hoped a decision would be made within about three months allowing a programme for the work to begin to be drawn up.

He said: “It is good to work with an authority like Ipswich, the planning officers are very helpful and we can work together to come up with a scheme that should be good for the town.”

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