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'Tweaking not terminal,' client claims over Sheppard Robson college

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Suffolk College has played down rumours it has pulled plans for a Sheppard Robson-designed £50 million extension.

According to reports, the further education college in Ipswich had decided to withdraw its planning application for the Rope Walk site just weeks before it was due to be considered by the Ipswich Council.

The AJ understands residents had kicked up a fuss about the 21,000m 2project, which would include the demolition of existing buildings and the construction of a new four-storey education block and a two-storey sports hall.

However, the college's director of campus and community development John Norman said reports about a total rethink had missed the mark.

He stated: 'We haven't pulled the planning application. We have simply made amendments to it that have delayed it going to council until later in the year.

'We have had to make changes to the plans for the internal spaces because we felt the proposals didn't allow for potential extension.'

And a spokeswoman for Sheppard Robson added:' The scheme has not been withdrawn. We are issuing some substitute drawings, some of which relate to the Automotive and General Engineering department, responding to, primarily, the internal organisational structure of the college and local resident issues.'

It had been hoped that work would have been able to start on site as early as September this year. Following the redesign, construction is now not expected to begin until early next year.

by Richard Waite

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