Developer John Howard reveals plans for Lower Brook Street Ipswich site
Town centre homes plans for important Ipswich town centre site close to the Waterfront
Developer John Howard has revealed plans for the redevelopment of the East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star site in Lower Brook Street, Ipswich.
The multi-million-pound development will see the newspaper offices, distribution centre and former print works demolished and transformed into “high-quality” new homes.
The listed building on part of the site is going to remain where it is.
Meanwhile, media company Archant, publisher of the Ipswich Star and EADT, is on the move, but will remain in the town centre.
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It is planning to refurbish and develop Portman House, on the corner of Portman Road and Princes Street, as a brand-new home for the business – still in the heart of the town and business community.
The Lower Brook Street newspaper offices buildings, which date back to the 1960s, have been bought by Stephen Clark and Churchmanor Estates and will be developed in partnership with another well-known local developer and businessman, John Howard.
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Property developer Mr Howard said: “Investigation work has already taken place into the site and proposals are being drawn up for a quality residential scheme.
“This extremely important landmark site is situated between the town and waterfront and is another important piece of the regeneration project. I am also very pleased to be working once again with Stephen Clark on this and a number of other projects.
“Meetings are taking place this month with the planning department due to an application going in shortly.
“There is a tremendous amount of investment going on in Ipswich at the moment,” he added.
“This is a very important site for Ipswich. It is an exciting and challenging project.
“It is a big scheme and I think it is a great location and, because it links the town centre with the waterfront, it is the best of both worlds.
“We have done a lot of regeneration projects in East Anglia and we have worked together in the past.
“We are planning a high-quality residential scheme, and it may well include some assisted living elements.”
In the distant past this area would have been part of Cardinal Wolsey’s college, which covered an extensive area of the town centre.
Mr Howard added: “The site has a number of challenges, and one challenge will be demolition, which will be expensive.
“It is also a historical site, and there will be an archaelogical dig, initially in the car park area.
“There is so much goodwill, and drive and enthusiasm in Ipswich for this, and the Portman House scheme, in getting a good living and working environment right in our town centre.
“It fits in with the Ipswich Vision, and Ben Gummer’s aims for the town.
“Ben Gummer has been a great supporter of the improved train times project for Ipswich.
“Princes Street will become the new business hub for the town centre, close to the railway station, with fast trains to London.”
Ipswich MP Mr Gummer has welcomed the two major schemes and the investment they represent in Ipswich town centre.
He said: “Our great local newspapers will have a new home that better accommodate them in this new modern, digital economy.
“John Howard and Stephen Clark, two strong local developers, will be able to develop their site in a way that will enhance our town.
“Both these projects are evidence that Ipswich is on the move again – not with flashy credit-fuelled speculative projects, but with real businesses creating real jobs and real homes for the future.”
Work on both the Lower Brook Street and Princes Street schemes are due to get under way during 2016.