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Care home plan for vacant Ipswich Henley Road cricket stadium backed by council

PUBLISHED: 16:56 30 May 2018 | UPDATED: 16:56 30 May 2018

The former Thurleston Cricket Centre has been vandalised over the years Picture: LNT CONSTRUCTION

The former Thurleston Cricket Centre has been vandalised over the years Picture: LNT CONSTRUCTION

Archant

Planners in Ipswich have backed proposals to demolish the former cricket stadium in Henley Road to make way for a new 66-bed care home.

Architects' impression of the new care home that could be built on the site of the Thurleston Cricket Centre Picture: LNT CONSTRUCTIONArchitects' impression of the new care home that could be built on the site of the Thurleston Cricket Centre Picture: LNT CONSTRUCTION

The indoor stadium has been empty since 2012, and suffered from graffiti and other anti-social behaviour activity since its closure.

LNT Construction Ltd – a company with a track record of building more than 100 care homes nationwide – put in a planning application to transform the site into a care home with 66 rooms.

This morning, Ipswich Borough Council’s planning committee met where they backed the recommendation to defer the decision to the head of planning to approve once the final consultation ends next week.

Joanne Sutcliffe from LNT Construction Ltd, said: “I am aware that [cricket stadium] is not currently benefitting the community and the care home will, and will bring the site back into community use and also generate employment.”

The firm said that the care home has been designed to meet guidelines set out by the Care Quality Commission – the UK’s health watchdog – and would have up to 50 people working in shift patterns.

It has been designated for a mix of general residential and residential dementia care.

The site will be an upgrade on its existing home in Ipswich town centre, which developers said was “no longer fit for purpose”.

The land had been designated for sports use, but planning officers said the benefits of transforming the derelict site which will meet care home needs outweighed the loss of sports facilities.

LNT hopes to be able to have the home open sometime in the latter half of 2019.

Ipswich borough councillor Carole Jones said she welcomed the plans, saying that it “clearly answers a need”.

Councillor Sandra Gage added: “It’s a really lovely location and I am really supportive of this.”

However, both councillors raised concerns over access for cyclists and those on mobility scooters, as well as pedestrians, with the busy Henley Road set to be the main entrance.

A further condition was added to the scheme surrounding sufficient provision for cyclists and mobility scooters.

It is not yet clear when work on the site may begin.

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