The view from Suffolk's tallest building

GALLERY This is the spectacular view from the top of one of East Anglia's tallest building.Much of south east Suffolk is clearly visible from the top of The Mill, which has now taken its place at the heart of Ipswich's rejuvenated waterfront.

Russell Claydon

THIS is the spectacular view from the top of one of East Anglia's tallest building.

Much of south east Suffolk is clearly visible from the top of The Mill, which has now taken its place at the heart of Ipswich's rejuvenated waterfront.

Towering over the wet dock at the equivalent height of 16 stacked double-decker buses, it is costing £70million to build.

The topping out ceremony of the 23-storey structure yesterday was hailed an “historic day” for the future of the town by politicians and construction leaders alike.

Taking in the fantastic views, which stretch as far out as Felixstowe, David Hale, the mayor of Ipswich, said: “This is a real landmark building for Ipswich.

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“I sat on the original planning committee that put it through and it was a truly historic thing to do.

“It is an absolutely amazing view and you do not realise how much greenery there is around the town.”

James Hehir, Ipswich Borough Council chief executive, declared it a flagship building for the county.

He said: “This waterfront 'iconic' building is the image of the new Ipswich and is the flagship that brings the historic waterfront alive.”

Planting a yew branch among the final laying of concrete, Brian Tanner, the director of Wharfside Properties, the company behind the building, declared it an “amazing” structure.

Positioned on the former site of the Cranfield's Mill, the building will house an £8.6m headquarters for DanceEast.

Assis Carreiro, its director, said: “I never thought we would see the day. It is quite extraordinary.”

DanceEast will occupy the first four storeys of the building and will hope to move into its centre for advanced training in August next year.

Chris Mole, Labour MP for Ipswich, said: “It was a brave decision to take - to have a building this tall - but looking at it, it compliments the regeneration that has happened on Ipswich's waterfront.

“We can really get a sense of Ipswich in all its glory from here.”

Mark Challis, contractor Laing O'Rourke's project leader at the site, who lives at Snape, said it had been a dream come true to oversee the 68.1 metre high building.

He added: “It is not just a building but will be a place for people to live and work. It has been a fantastic job building it.”

The Mill in numbers:

n 13,000 cubic meters of concrete was used to complete the massive frame.

n The £70million project is now 61 weeks into its 112 week programme.

n The structure stands 71.4 meters above the ground and 68.1 meters above sea level.

n A lift attached to the frame for construction workers takes two minutes to reach the top floor.

n The building will house 337 residential units and 35,000 sq foot of commercial space.

n Work began on the 1.5 acre site on St Peter's Wharf in July 2007, with a team of 220 workmen now working towards the completion date of October 2009.

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