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Ipswich: Director of the Yippee 99p store warns of town centre exodus prompted by “crippling” business rates

PUBLISHED: 09:16 27 February 2014 | UPDATED: 09:16 27 February 2014

The Yippee 99p store in Carr Street

The Yippee 99p store in Carr Street

Archant

An independent trader has warned that “crippling” business rates will leave Ipswich town centre a retail wasteland occupied by nothing but charity shops.

Dennis Davis, director at the 99p store Yippee, said the £9,500 monthly rates on a pound store on the Cornhill had made the business untenable and forced its closure.

“The rates were so crippling that it is not worth it to stay,” he said.“It’s ridiculous - particularly in the current climate.”

“I tried my hardest to do a deal with the council but they wouldn’t budge so we are having to hand it back to the landlord.”

The Cornhill has been the focus of a major revival campaign with a new look revealed for the site earlier this year.

The multi-million pound regeneration project has been supported by key players in the town, including Ben Gummer MP, Ipswich Borough Council and Ipswich Central. Paul Clement, chief executive of Ipswich Central, said: “This is a very important site in our town centre. We want to actively work with the owners to explore opportunities to restore it permanently to its former glory.”

However Mr Davis, who also has a Yippee store in Carr Street, Ipswich, claims independent traders will be priced out of the town centre, regardless of any plans for improvement.

He says there will be a mass exodus to retail parks where the business rates are lower, parking is free and footfall remains high. “Independent traders cannot afford to have high street shops in Ipswich,” he said. “That’s why the town is full of charity shops.

“People still want to shop in the local bakers and butchers and other independent traders – but they’re all being priced out of the market.”

Police have arrested a 66-year-old man in connection with an incident that caused armed officers to swoop on Ipswich town centre tonight.

Highways bosses have announced they will be carrying out a series of improvements to the road network across Suffolk and north Essex this week.

Kebab fans will be excited to hear a new fast food outlet that prides itself on making top quality versions of the takeaway staple is opening in Ipswich soon.

Drivers in Woodbridge have faced long delays this afternoon after a major route through the town became flooded.

Firefighters were sent to tackle a blaze that broke out in a flat in Ipswich this afternoon.

The shocking prevalence of rape in Ipswich has been uncovered in an EADT and Star investigation.

Police wants to speak to two teenagers about an attempted murder in Colchester in the early hours of this morning.

Ed Sheeran has got engaged to his partner Cherry Seaborn, the Framlingham singer has confirmed on Instagram.

Emergency services have been called to the scene of a car having gone into a ditch on the A12 near Darsham

Snow could fall in parts of Suffolk on Sunday morning as temperatures are set to drop overnight.

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