Ipswich Tolly Cobbold brewery: New homes plan submitted

Tolly Cobbold brewery development Image copyright Lyall, Bills & Young
Image caption A view looking towards the waterfront with the redeveloped brewery building (right)

A plan to transform a derelict Victorian brewery into a 300-seat auditorium and homes has been revised and sent to planners.

Pigeon Investments had wanted to covert the Tolly Cobbold site on Ipswich waterfront into 27 flats, a supermarket and hotel.

A new £40m scheme has dropped the supermarket and hotel elements, but it now includes 222 residential units.

The theatre would still be built in the Grade II-listed brewery building.

Image caption The Cliff Quay Brewery has become derelict, while the Brewery Tap pub (left) has stayed open
Image copyright Lyall Bills & Young
Image caption The revised plan would include an apartment block (right) next to the original brewery building

Brewing had taken place on the site since 1746 and the main brewery building dates from 1894-96.

'Sympathetic' conversion

The new plan was revised from the 2013 one that was granted outline planning permission.

Clive Thompson, Pigeon's project co-ordinator, said: "The retail marketplace has changed out of all recognition in the last three years - the big supermarkets aren't looking at Ipswich town centre at the moment and there have already been new hotels built elsewhere.

"With the recovery and construction cranes around the wet dock, there is a belief Ipswich is on its way back.

"Funding is in place to be able to deliver the scheme."

Image copyright Lyall, Bills & Young
Image caption The auditorium would be built in the old four-storey brewery and the "lantern" ceiling would be retained
Image caption The Cliff Quay Brewery has been derelict since 2002 when Tolly Cobbold was bought by Ridley's of Essex

Mike Cook, planning co-ordinator with the Ipswich Society civic campaign group, said: "We are very happy a building on the at-risk register, and subject to vandalism, is being converted sympathetically and will utilise the space as best it can.

"It balances the preservation of a listed building with an apartment block which the project is financially dependent on."

Pigeon's plans also include creating a brewery museum and the possible relocation of the Ipswich Transport Museum from Priory Heath.

A spokesman for Ipswich Borough Council said the scheme was likely to go before the planning committee early in the new year.

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