Start made on new homes
FOR years it's been the most contaminated site in Ipswich – but not for much longer.Work to clean up the former gasworks site between the Waterfront and Duke Street is now underway.
By Paul Geater
FOR years it's been the most contaminated site in Ipswich – but not for much longer.
Work to clean up the former gasworks site between the Waterfront and Duke Street is now underway.
Persimmon Homes has been granted planning permission to build up to 350 homes on the site – mainly as flats overlooking the Waterfront.
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However when planning permission was granted in December last year, borough councillors were warned that the clean-up would be a big job.
More than £3 million is being spent on removing a cocktail of lead, cadmium, arsenic, and other toxic substances which leeched into the ground when the site was occupied by the gasworks.
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Because of the cost of the clean-up, councillors waved the requirement that developers should make a contribution to the cost of providing new school places.
They were warned that to force that extra cost on top of the clean-up would make development there uneconomic.
Now work has started to remove and clean the topsoil, but it will be some time before construction work can get underway.
A total of 311 One and two-bedroomed flats will be built in separate blocks around a central area.
Many will overlook the Wet Dock, and there will be a central marquee-style feature beside the water.
Persimmon also plans to build 43 three-bedroomed houses behind the blocks of flats.
Construction of the first block is scheduled to start later this year, and the first homes are expected to be ready for occupation in the first half of next year.
The site is seen as vital for the regeneration of the Wet Dock area, and councillors were delighted that the most heavily-contaminated area was one of the first to be developed.
Persimmon also plans to build more Waterfront flats around a new marina on the west bank of the River Orwell – but they are unlikely to be built until the gasworks site development is completed.