Work to start on revamping auction house

WORK on a £1.3million development to transform a former auction house into luxury apartments is about to start, it was announced today.Plans to turn the former Websters sale yard, in Great Colman Street, Ipswich, into 14 luxury apartments were given approval at the beginning of February after original plans were turned down.

WORK on a £1.3million development to transform a former auction house into luxury apartments is about to start, it was announced today.

Plans to turn the former Websters sale yard, in Great Colman Street, Ipswich, into 14 luxury apartments were given approval at the beginning of February after original plans were turned down.

Demolition contractors are now being finalised so work to bring down the majority of the site can start at the beginning March.

Michael Sparkes, of developers Barefoot and Gilles, said: "Thanks to the tenacity of our architects, this scheme is at last underway, after five months of careful negotiation with planners."

The East Anglian architects had initially drawn plans, with the full support of the Conservation Society, for a much more radical façade to the former sale yard in the town centre.

However the scheme was turned down by Ipswich Borough Council and Barefoot and Gilles had to find a present-day design, appealing to purchasers, while still in-keeping with the historical surroundings.

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After going back to the drawing board the company came up with a second modern design which mixed old and new.

Roger Gilles said: "We are delighted to see another project through to a positive outcome.

"Work will start as soon as possible and will take between 10 months to a year to complete."

The new plans will retain part of the Edwardian frontage.

Eight of the apartments will have a landscaped courtyard area and parking.

There will also be two loft-style penthouse suites, and an office unit.

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