Hotel unveils landmark expansion plan

ANOTHER new landmark for the fast-changing Ipswich Waterfront area was unveiled yesterday in the form of plans for a 29-bedroom extension to the Salthouse Harbour Hotel.

ANOTHER new landmark for the fast-changing Ipswich Waterfront area was unveiled yesterday in the form of plans for a 29-bedroom extension to the Salthouse Harbour Hotel.

If approved by planners, the new eight-storey structure - which is intended to replace the current Neptune Snooker Club - will be taller than either the existing hotel or the neighbouring Neptune Quay apartments.

The extension, providing the hotel with more rooms offering views across the Wet Dock area to the Orwell Bridge and beyond, has been designed by Ipswich firm Barefoot and Gilles, who were also architects for the conversion of the former John Goode building into the original hotel in 2003.

Robert Gough, whose family owns both the Salthouse and the Angel Hotel in Bury St Edmunds, said: “I was delighted with the successful development of the original Salthouse Harbour Hotel five years ago.


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“I attribute this success to the fact that we are established local hoteliers with a track record of delivery and a long term commitment to the prosperity of Ipswich, born out of a lifetime of living and working here.

“The hotel is a valuable commercial asset to the town. It provides employment in an otherwise predominantly residential area and acts as a magnet to the Waterfront, attracting people from far and wide. This extension will help secure the long term viability of business and employment in the area generally.”

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Roger Gilles, senior partner at Barefoot and Gilles, added: “A good hotel is an exciting place to be and we wanted that excitement to be part of the new Salthouse extension. Our idea is to take a simple shape like an industrial shed and insert a luxurious hotel into it.”

It is hoped that work will start on site in the summer with the extension being ready for autumn bookings in 2009.

Besides the prospect of expanding the hotel's bedroom capacity by around two-thirds - it currently has 43 rooms - Mr Gough said he was also looking forward to the opportunities offered by the new building for adding to the hotel's displays of contemporary art work.

“The Salthouse has always displayed contemporary paintings and sculpture and the new design will use the entire ground floor effectively as a single gallery space to present new work to the public,” he said.

“The new hotel lobby will be entirely glass and there will be an area outside to display sculpture and other installations.”

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