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Demolition of ‘eyesore’ office block on hold as housing details ironed out

PUBLISHED: 11:30 23 October 2020

Geest House, opposite Chantry Park, which is due to be knocked down for a new housing development. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

Geest House, opposite Chantry Park, which is due to be knocked down for a new housing development. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

Archant

An ‘eyesore’ office building which has been left empty since 2014 is still yet to be demolished, a year after planners gave designs for a new housing estate the green light.

Geest House, opposite Chantry Park, which is due to be knocked down for a new housing development. Picture: GOOGLE MAPSGeest House, opposite Chantry Park, which is due to be knocked down for a new housing development. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

The building, which used to house Geest Line, a shipping company based in Suffolk, has stood unused on Hadleigh Road in Ipswich for the past six years.

The derelict building has been an eye-sore for years, however, locals were buoyed when Babergh District Council accepted plans to demolish the building and replace it with seven homes.

The new estate, together with parking and landscaping, will stand on a 0.21 hectare area of land which will be accessible from the main road.

However, before the building can be demolished, applicants Eyton Developments Limited need to satisfy a number of conditions set out by planners.

Despite tackling a number of the outstanding issues, the development company is still to provide details about contamination and surface water discharge, as well as some ecology matters, according to the council.

These details are often complicated and can take years to complete. Eyton Developments have until July 2022 to start work on the new estate.

Permission had previously been granted for the building to be converted to 13 flats in March 2018 however, in a change of plans, it will now be brought to the ground.

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Eyton Developments Limited say it will “deliver an attractive enduring place which is related well to its built and natural context and location”.

The company says that it will achieve its objective by “using good quality facing materials” to build “well-proportioned buildings and spaces”.

It is proposed that the estate will be made up of six, three bed houses which will all be semi-detached and a single five bed home which will stand alone.

The larger home will be accessed by Elton Park access road to the west of the site while the others will use Hadleigh Road.

The new seven properties will be added to an existing eight homes which have already been built on land to the rear of the former office block.

At the time of the application, district councillor for Sproughton and Pinewood Zac Norman, said: “This development is something we are quite positive about.

“That building has been empty for God knows how long.

“It’s an eyesore and it’s a good thing that it will be replaced by something that will be in keeping with the area.

“The main thing that people want is for that area to be used.”


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