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New block for the dock

PUBLISHED: 13:33 16 August 2001 | UPDATED: 10:26 03 March 2010

A STUNNING new 12-storey block of upmarket flats is set to be the gateway to Ipswich's waterfront area by the middle of the decade.

It would also include ground floor shops, first floor restaurants, and second floor offices.

A STUNNING new 12-storey block of upmarket flats is set to be the gateway to Ipswich's waterfront area by the middle of the decade.

It would also include ground floor shops, first floor restaurants, and second floor offices.

And a similar development on the former Burton site beside Wolsey's Gate and St. Peter's Church would transform that entrance to the dockland area.

Both developments are being designed by Suffolk-based architects Wincer Kievenaar - and the plans have just been submitted to Ipswich Council.

The 12-storey block would be built on the site of the former St. Peter's Warehouse which was destroyed by fire last year.

The development would include the restoration of the potentially-attractive, but neglected, cottage on the junction of College Street and Bridge Street.

It also includes turning the slip road between College Street and Stoke Bridge into a pedestrianised area making it easier for people to use the shops at the bottom of the block.

The development would have 51 large flats - aimed at the same upmarket potential purchasers as the Bellway flats and the Neptune Marina flats further around the Watefront.

On the former Burton's site Wincer Kievenaar has designed a similarly-styled block of 70 flats.

These would be smaller than those overlooking the water - but the design will still be eye-catching.

The flats will be built in a "cascade" rising from four storeys fronting College Street to eight storeys at the Star Lane side of the site.

The two applications have both been submitted to the council - although the Burton's site is slightly further ahead.

"That was submitted about a month before the warehouse application," said Mark Wincer.

"But the warehouse site is a full application whereas the other one is just in outline at the present," he added.

Both sites are vital for the overall development of the waterfront area.

"The warehouse site is the entrance to the waterfront for people coming from the Cardinal Park area, while the Burton's site is a link with the town centre," Mr Wincer said.

"The Burton's site will include a foot and cycle path which will link in with the new pedestrianised route past the warehouse site.

"The traffic in that area does remain a major issue, it is not easy to integrate the waterfront with the rest of the town when a fast gyratory road goes through it," he said.

The entrance to the Waterfront from the town and the Cardinal Park area has long been seen as one of the biggest problems for its redevelopment.

Mr Wincer warned that physical work on both the projects was still some way away.

"It's still early days. We've only just submitted the planning applications - there is much to do before work can start.

"But these are very important sites and the news that things are happening there is very important," he added.

THE transformation of the Waterfront is continuing with paving work on the northern quays.

It has now reached the Old Custom House, and has made the whole area much more visitor-friendly.

The paving of the quays has always been seen as a major project to help with the regeneration of the area as it emphasises its transformation from an industrial centre to one which relies more on commerce and leisure.

In the longer term, there are plans to turn College Street, Salthouse Street and Key Street into a "Green Route," used only by pedestrians, cyclists and buses with Star Lane turned into a two-way street.

The destruction of the St. Peter's Warehouse in March last year was a major blow to the area, as there had been hopes that this attractive structure could be converted into a new use.

After the fire, however, it became obvious that it could not be salvaged and the new plan would see a striking modern building forming a landmark for the 21st century on the site.

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