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The Bartlet



Gipping Homes, developers of The Bartlet in Felixstowe, are celebrating after the month of May has seen them enjoy a number of highs.

An influx of sales means that the development is now over 90% reserved. The remaining three properties are being prepared ready to market for the summer season.

The development has also won recognition from the Suffolk Joint Consultative Committee (SJCC) at their annual awards last week, where it was given the 2017 Craftsmanship Award for Best Restoration, which was supported and endorsed by the Suffolk branch of RIBA.

On the award the judges commented “Probably the most controversial in the re-use of old buildings has been the Bartlet Convalescent Home in Felixstowe, successfully and remarkably converted into apartments without losing any of the character or appearance of the previous use. In fact, some locals suggested that the restoration has improved the building, tidied up overgrowing greenery and repaired and restored the damaged fabric.”

Director Heather Blemings added:  “After nearly four years of hard work and dedication by our highly talented team, the completed Bartlet project should leave a legacy for generations to come and we feel privileged for having the opportunity to restore this remarkable building to its former glory.  Sadly, when we first came onto the site vandalism, neglect and lack of maintenance meant that the whole site was in a very sorry state but this accolade, along with the many positive comments received, makes us very proud and we feel extremely grateful for being allowed to contribute to the rapid improvement in the overall facilities within Felixstowe” 

The team at Gipping Homes are also celebrating having received permission to add a residents’ garage block and three further apartments to the development. Two applications had been refused but when this was referred to the Planning Inspectorate, the decisions were reversed and approval granted.

In his decision notice, Mr Peter Rose, the Inspector appointed, commented: “I find the scheme to be a sensitive residential development of brownfield land broadly consistent with the site’s considerable heritage significance. There is also significant local support for the scheme, both in writing and made in person.  Aside from individual residents these include formal representations of support from both The Felixstowe Society and from the Felixstowe Town Council.”

Commenting on the appeal decision Peter Blemings, Managing Director of Gipping Homes said, “We are extremely pleased that the Inspector has supported the view of our design team who believed throughout that the proposed scheme had little or no impact on the setting of the listed building.  Following on from the RIBA Award received last week, the Planning Appeal decision arrived exactly 5 years to the day from when we first submitted our tender for the acquisition of this site.”

Mr Blemings continued “We are particularly pleased that the Inspector acknowledged the almost unanimous support for the scheme from both the local and wider community. Unfortunately, the project  will now incur additional costs and will necessitate alternative temporary parking arrangements for residents and general disruption which could have been avoided had we been able to start earlier. We will of course do our very best to mitigate this for our residents.”