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Sugar beet silos start to come down - Ipswich business park on course

PUBLISHED: 16:02 12 December 2017 | UPDATED: 15:21 13 December 2017

Demolition work starts at the Sproughton sugar beet factory site. Picture: NICOLE DRURY, IBC

Demolition work starts at the Sproughton sugar beet factory site. Picture: NICOLE DRURY, IBC

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Demolition work on the silos at the former British Sugar plant at Sproughton outside Ipswich has started - and the four massive structures should be a thing of the past by the end of February.

Demolition work starts at the Sproughton sugar beet factory site. Picture: NICOLE DRURY, IBCDemolition work starts at the Sproughton sugar beet factory site. Picture: NICOLE DRURY, IBC

Contractors started taking huge chunks out of the first silo on Tuesday morning, and by lunchtime it was already starting to disappear.

But the spectacular nature of the work has caused another problem – on Wednesday morning trespassers, including children, were reported on the site, especially children, trying to take their own pictures.

Demolition work starts at the Sproughton sugar beet factory site. Picture: NICOLE DRURY, IBCDemolition work starts at the Sproughton sugar beet factory site. Picture: NICOLE DRURY, IBC

A borough council spokesman said the site was potentially dangerous – and while security patrols were being stepped up contractors were concerned about the trespassers. He said: “Stay off the site. It is a construction site and it is not safe for members of the public.”

The silos are having to be mechanically demolished – the site is too near the A14 and the Great Eastern Main Line to allow them to have been brought down in a spectacular explosion.

The former Sugar Beet factory at Sproughton in 2009  PICTURE  MIKE PAGEThe former Sugar Beet factory at Sproughton in 2009 PICTURE MIKE PAGE

Much of the concrete from the silos is due to be broken up on site and used as hardcore underpinning the new roads that will be put down on the 130-acre business park that is to be created on the site.

The former sugar beet factory site is owned by Ipswich council, although it is in Sproughton which is part of Babergh district.

Borough council leader David Ellesmere said the demolition work was significant because people could now see that something was happening at the site.

He said: “We have put in our outline planning application to Babergh for the site and now we have also put in the first detailed planning application for the first roads on the site to the area we think will be the first to be developed.

“There has been a lot of work going on behind the scenes and a lot of preparatory work on the site over the last few years – but it is good to see this demolition starting so everyone can see what is happening.”

There has already been a great deal of interest from businesses who are attracted to the idea of moving to a site which has easy access straight on to the A14.

Mr Ellesmere is hopeful that the first full planning application to build a major unit on the site might be registered with Babergh within the next few weeks – and that could open the floodgates to many more in the years ahead.

The site will be mainly used for business and industry, although there could be some additional uses on a small area near Sproughton Road like a hotel, pub or restaurant.

Mr Ellesmere has said it could take 10 years for the site to be fully developed – although the level of interest so far suggests it could be filled up long before then.

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