New home for Ipswich courts

IPSWICH magistrates are likely to move to a new building next to the Crown Court over the next few years, The Evening Star can reveal today.A spokesman for the government's court service confirmed that it is considering moving the magistrates into a new building which would go up on land between the new crown court - which opened in 2004 - and Ipswich council's Grafton House headquarters.

IPSWICH magistrates are likely to move to a new building next to the Crown Court over the next few years, The Evening Star can reveal today.

A spokesman for the government's court service confirmed that it is considering moving the magistrates into a new building which would go up on land between the new crown court - which opened in 2004 - and Ipswich council's Grafton House headquarters.

And the new development would also have room for the town's county court - currently in

The government would not own the building, like the crown court it would be built and owned by a private company and leased by the court.


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A spokesman for Her Majesty's Court Service in London said: “I can confirm that we are looking into the possibility of leasing a new building to be built beside the Crown Court in Ipswich.

“At the moment no final decision has been taken but we are aware of the possibilities that are on offer in that part of the town.”

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A new building would share the same secure entrance as the Crown Court, although the public entrance would probably be off West End Road rather than Russell Road.

The existing magistrates' court building in Elm Street dates from the 1960s and is likely to eventually be redeveloped as part of the second phase of the Civic Centre development.

That is expected to also include the redevelopment of the police station - although the moves might not happen until well into the next decade.

Borough leader Liz Harsant said the development of a new court would be a massive boost for the whole Ipswich Village area.

She said: “We have heard whispers about this before, but it is encouraging that the government is openly talking about the possibility.

“It would give the town the chance to redevelop more of the Civic Centre site and would also be a great boost for this part of the town. I certainly welcome the move.”

And Ipswich Borough Council chief executive James Hehir said: “This would be another huge boost for Ipswich Village and the rest of the town and it would also open up other possible development sites in Elm Street.”

Should the magistrates' court move? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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