Work to start on County Hall site

NEARLY a year after planning permission was granted for the redevelopment of the former County Hall site in St Helen's Street, the first work should finally start next month.

NEARLY a year after planning permission was granted for the redevelopment of the former County Hall site in St Helen's Street, the first work should finally start next month.

Permission was granted last October for the site to be redeveloped with homes and offices - but nothing has happened since then.

However today the agent for builders Rainbow Developments Ltd said work on the first phase of development, fronting Bond Street, should get under way in the autumn after the completion of an archaeological dig.

This will see the construction of affordable flats - mainly for rent - and a few homes for sale.


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The second phase of the development will see the former St Andrews House converted into flats - and the former St Helen Court headquarters building turned into modern offices.

But there is still no timescale for that development - it could be several months before any firm proposals for one of the most important buildings in Ipswich are brought forward.

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Bury St Edmunds-based architect Lionel Thurlow is the agent handling the redevelopment of the site.

He said: “We are hoping to start making progress there during September but it will depend on the archaeological survey and other factors.

“The offices in St Helen Court are still a long-term project.”

The old County Hall offices have been empty since Suffolk County Council moved into Endeavour House in April 2004.

St Helen Court is a historic listed building - it contains the former courtroom where Mrs Simpson was granted a divorce in 1936 allowing her to marry King Edward VIII.

The planning application which was granted last year envisages this building - which was refurbished to a high standard in the 1980s - remaining as offices, although no tenants have yet been found.

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