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Silos to come down - but with a whimper, not a big bang!

PUBLISHED: 16:24 30 August 2017 | UPDATED: 16:24 30 August 2017

David Ellesmere, leader of Ipswich Borough Council, at the sugar beet site in Sproughton. Picture: ARCHANT

David Ellesmere, leader of Ipswich Borough Council, at the sugar beet site in Sproughton. Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

Some of the last remaining industrial landmarks on the edge of Ipswich are to come down over the winter as the site is prepared for redevelopment.

The former sugar silos at Sproughton are set to come down. Picture: LUCY TAYLORThe former sugar silos at Sproughton are set to come down. Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

The silos at the former British Sugar site at Sproughton are set to be demolished during a four-month period, probably starting in October.

They will come down to allow the rest of the 130-acre site to be redeveloped as a business park by its owner, Ipswich Borough Council.

But they will have to be brought down “traditionally” with high-level equipment knocking down from the top – they cannot be blown up in a controlled explosion because they are too near other properties and major transport routes.

A spokesman for the borough council said: “We have to do the work from the top down because it is too near both the A14 and the main rail line to Norwich and Cambridge for anyone to safely use a controlled explosive.”

An artist's impression of the developed sugar beet site.An artist's impression of the developed sugar beet site.

The concrete that is left after the silos are demolished will be broken up on site and used as hardcore when new roads are built at the start of work on the business park.

The sugar beet factory closed in 2001.

The work is expected to take 16 weeks and the contractor is expected to be appointed after a meeting of Ipswich council’s executive meeting next Tuesday.

Portfolio holder for planning, Carole Jones, said it was good to see progress being made on the redevelopment of the site – but she was disappointed that there would not be a dramatic start to the work.

She said: “It would have been good to see the silos being blown up. It would have been a dramatic end for them – but given the safety concerns that really was not possible.

“In a way I am quite sad to see some of the town’s industrial heritage being lost like this, but we need to clear the site to allow us to get on with the rest of the redevelopment work.”

And she was looking forward to seeing the redevelopment of the site get under way – a masterplan for what is now called the Sproughton Enterprise Park is being prepared. She added: “It is good that the concrete will be re-used on the site. That is certainly the right thing to do from an environmental point of view and should make it easier to prepare it for development.”

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