Airport terminal demolition defended

A FIRM has stressed demolition work on the listed former Ipswich Airport terminal building is being carried out with full permission.It follows the release of aerial photographs by the Ipswich Airport Association (IAA) with shows one wall is all that is left of the building.

A FIRM has stressed demolition work on the listed former Ipswich Airport terminal building is being carried out with full permission.

It follows the release of aerial photographs by the Ipswich Airport Association (IAA) with shows one wall is all that is left of the building.

IAA took the photographs after it became concerned at the redevelopment going on at the site behind high fences.

However the company carrying out the work said last night it is working within the plans and the Grade II listed status protecting the building only applies to the frontage that is still standing.


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And Ipswich Borough Council has reassured conservationists that although the work looks drastic the new building on the Ravenswood Estate would be "better than its former glory".

In an IAA newsletter the group said a rumour reached them that there was demolition work going on behind the fences but initially they were not initially worried because the plans included the pulling down of the side wings.

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However, when they took a closer look while flying over the site they discovered most of the building had gone, with only the foyer/bar area and the facade left standing.

They are now trying to establish whether the demolition had planning and listed building consent.

Nigel Roberts, a director for the IAA, said an architect would be looking at the plans.

He said: "We are wondering whether or not that has the proper listed building consent. We believe the plans that were approved may not correspond to what has been done. We are investigating."

Ipswich Borough Council is the listed building authority, responsible for enforcing the regulations.

The terminal was given Grade II listing, which protects buildings of special interest and stipulates that every effort should be made to preserve them, because of its 1930s architecture.

A council spokesman said: "The situation is that part of it is listed, not all of it. We sold it to Ashwell Property Group of Cambridgeshire and they are turning it into a new community centre.

"We say that the building work has been discussed in detail with English Heritage.

"Although it looks drastic Ashwell have had to get rid of unsympathetic alterations made after the 1930s, 1960s extensions and asbestos and we would ask people to wait and judge the new building that rises out of the ashes."

He added: "We knew much of the building would have to be altered. You cannot leave asbestos there. We are confident that Ashwell are keeping to the plans."

A spokeswoman for Ashwell said: "All of our work is following the planning permission and the planning application that went into the borough council.

"We are following the permissions we have been granted.

"Just part of it is covered by the listed building status, which is the part that's been left. It is the front façade, the frontage."

A spokeswoman for English Heritage said they would only be consulted if the whole site were being demolished.

The multi-million pound development will see the former terminal rebuilt as apartments as well as a day nursery, cricket pavilion, some retail and community facilities coming to the site.

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