Residents reassured over terminal fears

IPSWICH Airport's listed terminal building has been all but demolished after contractors found it was in a much worse condition than thought.But it will be rebuilt to look as it did as the centrepiece of the local centre for the Ravenswood neighbourhood.

IPSWICH Airport's listed terminal building has been all but demolished after contractors found it was in a much worse condition than thought.

But it will be rebuilt to look as it did as the centrepiece of the local centre for the Ravenswood neighbourhood.

Demolition work over the weekend prompted frantic calls to councillors in the town, but officials were today anxious to point out that the work was in line with planning permission.

Ipswich council's economic development spokesman Richard Atkins said only the façade of the former terminal was protected by the listing.


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He said: "I had a flurry of calls about the work over the weekend, and we've had council officers out there looking at what is going on.

"They've checked up on the work and have confirmed that it is all in line with the planning permission and the guidelines.

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"Bob Kindred (the council's conservation officer) is happy with what is happening there."

Mr Kindred said it had originally been hoped to retain more of the terminal building, but its condition prevented that.

He said: "The contractors discovered it was in a very poor condition and riddled with problems, including a large amount of asbestos.

"There had been unsympathetic alterations to the building over the decades - from the start of World War Two through to the 1980s."

One feature that should have been retained was the control tower - but its condition was so bad it had to come down.

"But it will be rebuilt as part of the overall project," Mr Kindred said.

"All the work has been completed in consultation with English Heritage."

The terminal is being rebuilt as part of the £23 million project to create a new local centre for the Ravenswood community by Ashwell Property Group.

The former terminal will be rebuilt as flats overlooking the Ravenswood green - which includes a cricket pitch.

The local centre will also include shops, restaurants, a medical centre, business units and a community centre.

Work on the local centre is due to be completed by Christmas 2006.

The fate of the terminal building has been central to the entire Ravenswood project.

It was given a grade two listing in the mid-1990s as a prime example of 1930s architecture.

Supporters of Ipswich airport had hoped that this listing would prevent the closure and redevelopment of the site - and at one stage claimed that the listing covered all buildings on the airport which would have prevented any redevelopment.

However after it was confirmed that the listing only covered the terminal itself work on Ravenswood got underway - and until recently the terminal has looked like a tatty eyesore in the middle of a gleaming new community.

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