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New homes for historic site

PUBLISHED: 21:27 16 February 2002 | UPDATED: 11:22 03 March 2010

AN HISTORICAL building in Ipswich is being turned into rented homes as part of a £350,000 project.

It is hoped conversion work on the Ragged School on Waterworks Street will be completed in two months time.

AN HISTORICAL building in Ipswich is being turned into rented homes as part of a £350,000 project.

It is hoped conversion work on the Ragged School on Waterworks Street will be completed in two months time.

The building made headlines in 1984 when £30,000 was spent moving the Victorian frontage back just ten feet to make way for a new road – with costs met by Whitehall.

Bob Caley, who was the borough council's committee chairman at that time, defended the decision saying: "In 50 years time people will look back to this council and say they made the right decision in protecting the heritage of Ipswich."

He added that in years to come the old school would be seen as "a fine example of history."

Built in 1858, the Ragged School was once used by the poorest children in the area and although it was not listed as being architecturally important, Ipswich Borough Council thought it was worth saving.

A planning application was submitted to Ipswich Borough Council in July last year to turn the former school into three town houses and two flats.

Dedham Place, adjoining the building, is also being turned into rented accommodation and together the whole project offers 14 homes, half of which have already been completed.

Owner Richard Cattermole, of Elizabeth Holdings Plc based in Fore Street, Ipswich, told The Star: "The whole place has been altered. Work is half way through and should be ready – I hope – in about two months time.

"The first seven units have been leased already. What we are aiming for is a couple or single person – even someone looking for somewhere in Ipswich weekdays and looking to go home at weekends."

Over the last 15 years The Ragged School has been leased to a plastics firm, then became a kitchen centre. Four years ago it became a tyre depot.

An Ipswich Borough Council spokesman was delighted with the work saying: "This is a good re-use of this historic school building and will tidy up an interesting corner of Ipswich."

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