New dawn for Civic Centre

A MULTI million pound exchange took place today which is set to give Ipswich town centre a boost.The empty civic centre site, once the head quarters of Ipswich Borough Council, in Civic Drive, has been bought by developers for an undisclosed multi million pound sum.

A MULTI million pound exchange took place today which is set to give Ipswich town centre a boost.

The empty civic centre site, once the head quarters of Ipswich Borough Council, in Civic Drive, has been bought by developers for an undisclosed multi million pound sum.

Turnstone Estates Ltd plan to demolish the unused office building and transform it into a huge supermarket, which will cost £20m alone in construction.

Nick Scott, director of Turnstones Estates Ltd, said: “The scheme is in the early stages at the moment. We are working up our ideas and then it will go to public consultation with local people and stake holders.


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“This will culminate in a planning application probably near 2008, which will then run its course through the planning system and we would then expect a construction period of two years.”

Mr Scott said his company was currently in discussion with a major national retailer and he said the project was likely to be 50 to 70, 000 sq ft in size.

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Mr Scott added that he planned to involve the public in the planning application stage of the project and that their ideas were useful in the process.

Work is expected to begin on the demolishment of the civic centre as soon as possible.

Mr Scott said: “We will be demolishing the existing office building as soon as possible. Its vacant at the moment and has no real life left in it.”

Richard Atkins, the portfolio holder for planning and economic development said he was absolutely delighted by the sale.

He said: “There's a twinge of sadness to see an old building go but knowing what the repair bill would have been if we'd stayed, we are looking at eight million and from the outside you wouldn't have seen any difference.”

Mr Atkins said the money from the sale will go towards the £25 million repair and refurbishment bill for council owned properties.

What do you think of the new plan for a supermarket on the site?

Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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