Will former Ipswich pub site ever be redeveloped into community centre?
PUBLISHED: 17:21 29 August 2018 | UPDATED: 17:22 29 August 2018
Nearly a year after rebuilding work was halted on the former Rose and Crown pub on the junction of Norwich Road and Bramford Road, there is little immediate hope of the eyesore being cleared.
The building was being converted into a centre for the Kurdish community when work stopped suddenly last November when council officials realised it was no longer safe.
So many walls in the building had been removed that it was in imminent danger of collapse – and the top of Bramford Road had to be closed for more than two months because of the fear that a wall could come down on the carriageway.
The builders whose work had led to the near collapse left the site – and the borough had to bring in contractors to make what was left of the building safe.
Bramford Road reopened at the end of January, but there has no further construction work at the site since it was made safe.
Ipswich Council’s building control officers have been in touch with the owners of the building – but there has been little progress and they are not aware of any plans to resume work on the site.
It is understood that the borough is still pursuing the site’s owners to cover the cost of making the building safe. Borough officials are also waiting to see if Suffolk County Council will pursue a separate compensation claim against the building owners to cover the cost of the two-month closure of Bramford Road which caused considerable disruption in Ipswich over the Christmas period.
Ultimately they could consider seeking a Compulsory Purchase Order on the property – but there are still further steps they have to make before they can consider that option.
Council officials do not believe that anyone connected with the proposed development of the Rose and Crown is involved in the planning application to turn the former Mulberry Tree pub into a community centre.
Meanwhile residents in the Norwich Road/Bramford Road area – and the councillors – are frustrated that the site is still abandoned and boarded up almost a year on.
Westgate ward councillor Carole Jones said: “We are working towards trying to find a solution that will see that important site in the town brought back into use, but it is taking rather a long time.”