Eyesore site for sale in town

THE image of Suffolk's county town could change as a key waterfront site is put up for sale for redevelopment.The agents for the St Peter's Warehouse site, along Bridge Street in Ipswich, are asking for offers in excess of £3million.

THE image of Suffolk's county town could change as a key waterfront site is put up for sale for redevelopment.

The agents for the St Peter's Warehouse site, along Bridge Street in Ipswich, are asking for offers in excess of £3million.

However the site, which is situated on the waterfront on one of the main routes to the A14 from the town, is expected to fetch more than £1 million above the asking price.

Currently, the 0.45acre site has a derelict grain warehouse building, unused for more than 20 years and damaged in a major blaze three years ago, along with a Grade II listed cottage dating back to the 16th Century.

Ipswich Borough Council has already agreed to give planning consent, subject to a legal agreement, for 62 flats – 10 of which will be for social housing - with commercial units on the ground and first floors, paving the way for another modern and luxury development on the sought-after waterfront.

However, the cottage will have to be retained and refurbished, with the council giving its backing for its conversion into two apartments.

Most Read

Roisin Magill, sales negotiator for agents FPD Savills, said it is a prime site, which benefits from the nearby shops and restaurants as well as elevations of the Wet Dock.

She said the owner had offers on the property but has decided to put it on the open market and so far five parties have expressed a serious interest.

“The main part of the development will be a new build but at the moment it is a derelict site and is just an eye-sore,” she added.

“Anything that is tasteful is a step forward. It looks horrible at the moment and it's the main road to the A14 so anyone that visits has to drive past it. The development will have a major influence on the image and impact of Ipswich. The whole area down there needs a facelift.

“If the university comes to fruition students will also be looking for apartments and it is often cheaper for parents to buy for an investment and rent it out.

“The cottage looks like it is fine fettle with the old beams and traditional architectural styling.

“It is pretty and prominent so the developer will have to be careful and sympathetic in the way it treats it. So much was destroyed in the 1970s so these gems are quite rare.”

Mike Cook, leader of the planning monitors at the Ipswich Society, said: “It is a key site in Ipswich and the previous applications for planning, which have not been taken up, have been very unsatisfactory and the society and conservation panels have rejected their plans.

“We would be interested to see whether the new owners would produce better architecture.”

Dr John Blatchly, scientist, historian and former headmaster of Ipswich School, discovered the origin of a merchant's mark - showing the initials B and A, along with the date of the building 1590 - on the bressumer beam of the house.

Through his research he found that the owner of the house in the sixteenth century had been mariner Benedict Aldred, a master of three boats.

Dr Blatchly said: “It is a timber-framed Elizabethan building and it would be absolutely marvellous to have it lived in and in good order. It can be anything as long as it stays there.

“The bressumer beam needs preserving as that gives us the evidence of the first owner and the date of the building.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter