Question marks are left hanging over Waterfront

IPSWICH: The town’s Waterfront regeneration suffered a hammer blow today after it emerged the firm behind the landmark Cranfield Mill development has collapsed.

Wharfside Regeneration has been forced to call in administrators after falling victim to the effects of recession and a saturated property market.

The Cranfield Mill development, which earlier this month won the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Project of the Year gong, includes a 23-storey tower block and incorporates the DanceEast Jerwood Dance House complex.

The firm’s demise comes only months after the developer behind the neighbouring Regatta Quay site suffered a similar fate.

City Living Developments was handed to administrators Grant Thornton earlier this year, halting work at the site which was set to include a hotel, a 220-seat theatre and flats.

Today, the administrator for Wharfside Regeneration, Baker Tilly, said an estate agent had been appointed to sell the flats which had been completed, while advice was being sought on the best course of action in relation to any incomplete properties.

Nigel Millar, of Baker Tilly, said that over a third of the property units had been completed and were ready for sale, while other units are “partly finished”.

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He later said that he attributed the action as being “an effect of the recession on borrowings and perhaps the surplus of properties at the time.”

Residents and tenants will not be affected.

DanceEast’s artistic director Assis Carreiro told the Evening Star that she firmly believed that the news did not affect the dance company.

She said: “I do not think that it will effect us at DanceEast because we have an 125-year peppercorn rent our main building.

“I’m trying to see it as a positive thing because if the site is bought then it could end up being developed sooner with available funds.

“It is a very iconic building and there is still a huge amount of potential on the Waterfront and there may be a tough few years ahead but I’m still hopeful that the development of the area will continue.”

Former Ipswich Borough councillor Steven Wells, who previously voiced concerns over the development in times of recession, today said that he was “saddened and disappointed” by the administration of Wharfside Regeneration.

He said: “I have had concerns for quite some time, and I voiced those concerns. I deeply hope that development will be a success but as thousands of new homes are being built across Ipswich, I feel that this will mount more pressure onto the prices on the Waterfront.

“It is a high cost development and if things can’t improve then it is all only going to go one way – down hill. I hope I am wrong, but it is my fear.”

n What are your thoughts on the Waterfront developments? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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