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Ipswich: Discount store B&M withdraws controversial planning application for store at Ransomes Euro Retail Park

15:28 21 May 2014

B and M Home Store in Ransomes Europark,Ipswich.

B and M Home Store in Ransomes Europark,Ipswich.

Sarah Lucy brown

The controversial planning application by discount retailer B&M to relax planning restrictions on its store on Ransomes Euro Retail park has been withdrawn from today’s meeting of the borough’s planning committee.

There is now expected to be more negotiations between the retailer and the borough before a new application is submitted.

B&M, which also has a store at Copdock Mill, opened last May in the former Next unit at Ransomes – however council regulations say only bulky goods can be sold from the retail park.

If the company does not get a change in the condition – or removes all the non-bulky items from its shelves – it could eventually face legal action from the authority.

Council officers had said the application should be rejected in a bid to protect the town centre. It said a discount store like B&M – whose chairman is former Tesco chief Sir Terry Leahy – should look at the former Co-op department store in Carr Street or develop the former Civic Centre site.

However a web poll we ran last week attracted hundreds of hits – and two thirds backed B&M to carry on trading at its current location despite fears it could damage the town centre.

B&M sells goods ranging from tins of baked beans to a double bed and has been expanding rapidly across the country over recent years.

The Liverpool-based chain now has 370 stores and is continuing to expand.

There is no firm indication of what the next move in the stand-off between the company and the borough’s planners might be – or when the issue might be resolved.


  • Just as I predicted back before I opened this article, there would be a long winded self righteous comment. I am all for free speech, but no one likes a told you so. Typical IBC, let's put off a needed store and instead have some where that sells over priced trinkets and hand carved tripe.

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    Lee Davies

    Wednesday, May 21, 2014

  • That unit is not big enough for B&M anyway- I would like to see them develop the vacant side beside John Lewis with one really good sized store allowing them to better handle to volume of trade that goes through the store. The problem with the current location is that its not a pleasurable shopping location- you can't relax over a coffee of browse- you go there to buy hardware, furniture or a new TV.

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    Sentinel Red

    Wednesday, May 21, 2014

  • If that's the case then Sports Direct will be shutting too then as I would hardly class a pair of training socks as a bulky item!!! Ludicrous. Do they not think that it is actually the B&M Store that is attracting customers to this once deserted Retail Park and should be thanking them! Short-sightedness in my view

    Report this comment

    Steffi Weffi

    Wednesday, May 21, 2014

  • Interesting how B&M have to remove all non-bulky items. I guess Halfords and B&Q will have to do the same then as most of teh things they sell can fit in a pocket!

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    Chris Church

    Wednesday, May 21, 2014

  • Council are not happy, they are losing money from the car parks in town, because more people are shopping on the outskirts. Ipswich council are slowly killing the town centre. Moving B&M to the town centre will just kill B&M. I won't pay £2+ to use a few shops, when on the outskirts the car parks are free!!!!

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    Ipswich Man

    Wednesday, May 21, 2014

  • i bought last week 2 sun loungers from B&M , no way could i have bought these in town centre and carried them to my car. Plus the additional cost of parking, plus the additional time of traffic restrictions, our council have killed our town, its to lateto try to mend their useless decisions.

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    richard procter

    Wednesday, May 21, 2014

  • Why does a store like this give into the council I hope morrisons will only sell large items if not B&M have a good case for court action also what about halfords over half what they sell are classed as same items

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    Wednesday, May 21, 2014

  • Typical of this ANTI Ipswich Council. Any shop is good news so who cares what they sell. I remember when they blocked Matalan, people from Ipswich drove to Bury. If you think we have our share of cheap shops well take a look at Dublin Belfast and Glasgow. They also charity shops of charity's I have never heard of.

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    Wednesday, May 21, 2014

  • Interesting. I said they would withdraw and stick to the Copdock store... resulting in likely job losses. Although they might just surprise us with a town centre store... I cannot see it being the Co-Op store, its in a bad state of repair requiring millions of pounds of work done, despite being in a bad part of the town centre its rent will be high and more significantly, large shop fronts are only perfect for upmarket department stores as the business rates sky rocket. Zone C etc retail space is the cheapest... Zone A (space closest to the windows etc.) are the most pricey. Of course, within reason the bigger the shop front the more likely you are to sell. ----- There is great irony to this story, B&M in retail means Brick & Mortar (as opposed to ecommerce - online trading) - whether or not this stores name is derived from the phrase or not is irrelevant - and just goes to show the council's attitude into destroying traditional B&M retail in the town... and is probably the sole reason (or primary reason) how the town got into such a bad state. The BID organisation (arms length council) Ipswich Central has been desperately trying to reverse such damage. ----- One additional thing... why is Ipswich Star avoiding to mention "Morrisons" in its articles on this matter? ...B&M stores have a demographic of older shoppers (50+) and so does Morrisons... (coincidence?) its sad to see its a matter of anti-competition by the council as Morrisons seem to get given the go ahead. B&M only withdrawn their application as the council were set to refuse permissions - in a similar way of choosing to resign instead of getting sacked. If Morrisons gets given the go ahead, this needs to be reported to the OFT.

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    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Wednesday, May 21, 2014

  • If the council block this then they have to stop Morrisons moving in a few doors up too. I am not a great Leahy fan but I have shopped there because I can park easily, I can also go to relevant shops that aren't charity shops and get home again in less than an hour, impossible if I was to go into town. With this sort of irrationality, I can only assume that B&M have not greased the right palms.

    Report this comment

    Suffolk Boy

    Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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