Could Thurleston cricket centre be demolished to make way for care home

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 - Credit: Archant

The site of the former Thurleston Cricket Centre on the edge of Ipswich could be cleared to make way for a new 66-room care home if planners agree.

Architects' impression of the new care home that could be built on the site of the Thurleston Cricke

Architects' impression of the new care home that could be built on the site of the Thurleston Cricket Centre. Picture: LNT Construction - Credit: Archant

An application to build the new home on the site of the former sports centre that has been derelict for many years has been lodged with Ipswich council.

It is the third application to be made on the site over the last few years – permission already exists to build a nursing home there and for the site to be used for a new children’s home.

The new application has been made by specialist developers LNT Construction which has already developed 100 care homes across the country.

LNT’s planning statement says: “The company has developed a series of care homes specifically for the care of older people in a number of locations across Yorkshire, Lancashire and the Midlands, most recently in Huntingdon, Milton Keynes, Northwich and Welwyn Garden City and boasts many well-known national care providers amongst its clients.

Architects' impression of the new care home that could be built on the site of the Thurleston Cricke

Architects' impression of the new care home that could be built on the site of the Thurleston Cricket Centre. Picture: LNT Construction - Credit: Archant


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“The care home proposed (in Ipswich) is a purpose-built, three-storey, 66-bed residential care facility for older people with associated access, parking and landscaping.”

The site was originally the Thurleston Tennis Centre – and was later converted into a cricket centre when the indoor game became popular in the 1990s.

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However that game became less popular and the centre closed several years ago. It has not been used since although in the early years there were attempts to find a permanent new use for what was a large sports centre with easy access for motorists.

There have been at least two occasions when there have been fires at the centre – in 2015 a blaze was treated as suspicious and there are clear signs of vandalism at the derelict building.

Firefighters at the former Thurleston Cricket Centre in 2015 after a blaze at the site.

Firefighters at the former Thurleston Cricket Centre in 2015 after a blaze at the site. - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

LNT has commissioned a survey into wildlife on the site – particularly its potential as a home for bats – which says that while the derelict buildings are not promising for the creatures, proposals to install bat boxes as part of the redevelopment would make it more attractive to them.

The planning application has just been lodged with Ipswich council and is likely to be discussed by the authority’s planning and development committee during the spring.

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