The local media (probably being short of real news during August) picked up
on the deteriorating state of the former County Hall in St Helen's Street.
This is an all too familiar story. A developer purchased this large site
from Suffolk County Council (when they moved to Endeavour House) and
re-developed the easy bits. So there is a new block of flats in Bond Street,
recognisable because of the proliferation of perforations in the façade (gas
flue vents and air inlet tubes); and the re-building of the shops on the
corner of Grimwade Street and St Helen's Street, with flats above. They will
also refurbish St Andrew's House when the economy starts to recover, but St
Helen's Court (the former prison-like building) is proving much too difficult
to convert (it's Grade II Listed). The constant changes of floor level.
particularly on the first floor, make access difficult for wheelchair users,
so the original ideas - for a sheltered care home - were dropped before any
planning application was submitted.
Cover, issue 189