New Waterfront development emerges

FROM long-abandoned industrial wasteland to a thriving new community.That is the prospect facing the former Ransomes and Rapier site on Ipswich waterfront.

FROM long-abandoned industrial wasteland to a thriving new community.

That is the prospect facing the former Ransomes and Rapier site on Ipswich waterfront.

Developers Persimmon are expected to get the go-ahead for a major redevelopment of the site next week.

That will trigger a major building programme bringing nearly 500 new homes, a major new hotel, a health centre, shops, cafés and business space.

The development includes 464 homes - both flats and townhouses - of which 97 will be social housing, either for rent or on a shared equity basis.

There will be two large blocks of flats beside the river which step up from four to nine storeys high with the nine-storey elements being closest to the river and a further nine-storey block fronting on to Bath Street.

Most Read

The proposal is for the hotel to be a five-storey building.

There will be further blocks of terraced homes and an L-shaped health centre.

The site has been vacant since Robert Maxwell closed Ransomes and Rapier in the late 1980s after taking over the business.

It was originally earmarked for industrial development but, following a reassessment of the Waterfront as a whole and with the development of the Felaw Maltings and the IP City centre nearby, planners decided homes could be built there.

Now the application for the £40 million development is expected to be approved by the council's planning and development committee on Wednesday.

Persimmon is already heavily involved in the redevelopment of the Ipswich Waterfront - it is spending almost £100 million redeveloping the Orwell Quay and neighbouring Eagle Wharf sites on the opposite side of the river.

Ipswich council leader Liz Harsant described the Griffin Wharf proposal as “very exciting”.

She said: “This is a very important area of the Waterfront - it is the last really big site we've been waiting to come forward.

“With the hotel and health centre it is much more than just a housing development - and it is good to see so many family homes being proposed. It will really help to create a community there.”

Waterfront facts:

With the Griffin Wharf development added to its other two Waterfront projects, Persimmon is building more than 1,500 new homes beside the River Orwell.

Ransomes and Rapier was Britain's largest manufacturer of heavy cranes and earth-moving equipment before Robert Maxwell announced its closure in 1987.

The Griffin Wharf site has been empty since the R&R closure.

Construction work on the project should start early next year - but will take several years to complete.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter