The new Wetherspoon’s ‘Willow Tree’ on Ipswich Street, Stowmarket in Suffolk, opened its doors on 17 January 2012 marking the completion of a very challenging development for the Firm.
The original programme of 26 weeks was carefully programmed to achieve completion in just 17 weeks.
The project saw the demolition of a derelict building followed by traditional construction of the new building and a full fit out.
In week four of construction all substructure brick and blockwork was constructed, including 2.7 metre walls to the bottom end of the site. Approximately 6,500 blocks and 8,000 bricks were laid in this one week alone.
Kevin Church, project manager, attributed the success to the honest and open relationship with the architect and structural engineers, as well as the hard work of the bricklayers and labourers on site.
It was an incredibly restricted site; neighbours on either side meant access was difficult and there was also a six metre retaining wall to the rear as well as a party wall to take into consideration.
Rob Carter said: ‘This shows what can be achieved when the design is proactively managed, client direct contractors are positively coordinated, and an enthusiastic site team take on board a challenge.’
The Willow Tree specialises in real ales and features one bar with a street-side café area to the front of the premises, and a large terrace garden to the rear.