What’s next for this historic Ipswich landmark?
PUBLISHED: 08:36 08 November 2018 | UPDATED: 16:45 09 November 2018
Questions surround the future of an Ipswich landmark which has stood empty for several months.
People were left shocked when Anglesea Heights, one of the town’s biggest care homes, shut its doors earlier this year.
Owners Bupa confirmed the facility closed over a “lack of local demand”, with only 40 people living there despite a capacity of 120.
The historic site – which has featured on Ipswich’s skyline for several decades – was once home to Anglesea Road Hospital.
Now a planning application has gone in to clean up the site – but according to the council, it is still up for sale.
An Ipswich Borough Council spokesman said they are unaware of any potential interest in the Ivry Street site, even with this latest move.
“We have not received any applications regarding the future of the site but we understand it is for sale,” he said.
“We would welcome early proposals from the new owners.”
Michelle Smith, acquisitions director for Bupa UK, said: “The property is up for sale, and we’re confident it will go to a suitable buyer.”
After carrying out an initial assessment, Ground Control – acting on behalf of the site’s owners – want to cut back overhanging shrubbery and trees affecting the boundary wall and fences.
It is understood issues have been reported in nearby Ivry Street, although workers also plan to clear up features within the boundary.
On-site security has been installed while the building is vacant.
READ MORE: Days Gone By – From hospital to care home, the history of Anglesea Heights
Proposals submitted late last month set out plans to strim all grass areas, weeds from car park areas and access paths to the main building. If the application is given the green light by planners, water features will also be de-weeded and all curb edges in the car park and access road will also be cleaned up.
The prominent town centre site has a rich history, dating back to the Victorian era.
Anglesea Road Hospital opened in August 1836 with 50 beds, after £2,500 was raised by the public.
A third storey was added to the building in 1869 and a children’s wing was erected in 1875, as a memorial to former Ipswich MP John Cobbold.
Over the years, the facility expanded to cover much of the site, which spans over Henley Road and Warrington Road.
Access issues for accident and emergency arrivals in Ivry Street, and limited parking for staff, outpatients and visitors, led to the eventual relocation of wards and services to Heath Road.
By 1988, all services had moved and new buildings were constructed around the original Victorian site.
Anglesea Heights care home opened in 1991.