Time to transform

WHAT goes up must come down, and today at the Ipswich waterfront that mantra has never been so apt. As building after building is torn down to make way for flats, cafés, and shops the demolition of Ipswich waterfront is creating thousands of tonnes of debris.

WHAT goes up must come down, and today at the Ipswich waterfront that mantra has never been so apt.

As building after building is torn down to make way for flats, cafés, and shops the demolition of Ipswich waterfront is creating thousands of tonnes of debris.

What will happen to all the rubble that was once the industrial heart of our county town?

JAMES MARSTON reports.

IT'S a skyline that is changing fast.

In order to make way for the long-awaited redevelopment of Ipswich waterfront,some of the town's best known buildings and landmarks have first to be demolished.

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Before the next generation of buildings rise from the dust and rubble of former flour mills, and maltings something has to be done with the piles of debris and rubbish that go hand in hand with the demolition work.

Paul Wilson, operations manager for Croydon-based 777 Demolition, said the 26-week project to clear the four-acre site of the former Pauls Albion Maltings buildings started on January 3.

He said: “Most of the rubble will be recycled. Between 95 and 98 per cent of the masonry, concrete and hard waste will be taken away and turned into 75ml crush.

“The vast majority of that will stay in Suffolk and be used in the county's infrastructure and roads.”

The smashed concrete and masonry, which was once at the centre of Suffolk's agricultural processing industry, is currently being loaded on to trucks at the site.

Mr Wilson said: “We have been filling between 30 and 70 lorry loads a day and in the last fortnight we have probably filled 800 lorry loads.”

Metal from the site will also be recycled and other materials will be used by power stations and incinerated.

Up to 30 people are on the site taking down nine different buildings.

He added: “We are not sure how thick the concrete slab is yet as no one has dug into it yet. We will also do some enabling work for the archaeologists but after that our job is done.”

Meanwhile at the slightly smaller three-acre Cranfield flour mills site a 12 strong workforce from Waldringfield-based CDC demolition Ltd are more than half way through the eight months project to flatten about eight buildings.

CDC director Gary Renouf said: “Our site isn't quite so big. Three building are staying about eight have to be demolished.

“General rubbish has gone to landfill and the majority of that has left the site now. We have pulled out a lot of timber beams that we have sold to Suffolk and Essex-based buyers.

“Most of it will be reused and turned into furniture. We have sold on the scrap metal to a merchant. Masonry will be crushed on site and used to fill basement areas and left as a piling mat.

“I wouldn't like to guess how many tonnes there are but it will be thousands.”

Once cleared and demolished, developers will turn the former Cranfields flour mill into a variety of flats, shops and the new home for the Dance East. There will also be a 23-storey residential tower block-the biggest in Ipswich.

The Pauls Albion Maltings site is due to be cleared in June, when developers plan to turn the site into a residential area plus café's, shops and a new studio for the Red Rose theatre chain.

777 Demolition is using a Hitcahi excavator with a reach of 150-160 feet-the longest reach in the world. The machine weighs 155 tonnes and is worth about £800,000.

CDC demolition Ltd will hire the machine to carry out further demolition work at the Cranfields site.

End of Summer 2005 - surveying the site.

November-December 2005 - removal of asbestos and controlled waste.

January 2006 - start of 26 week project to demolish the site.

Week 26-June 2006 - exposure and destruction of large concrete slab at the base of the site.

Week 28-30 - archaeological surveys and examinations.

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