By PAUL GEATER
Friday, August 31, 2012
This aerial shot of the new Futura Park development on the edge of the town shows the true scale of the site.
The picture taken from a helicopter by Star photographer Su Anderson shows where the John Lewis/Waitrose superstore is located. From above the ground it is possible to see the full size of the development site – the former home of Crane Fluid Systems which was once the largest private-sector employer in the town.
The John Lewis/Waitrose superstore will dominate about a quarter of the site. It is nearing completion and is expected to open its doors in November.
Before it does, the road network in Futura Park needs to be created. A new road will run from the roundabout on Ransomes’ Way to a another roundabout on the heart of the development.
Another access is to be built from that roundabout on to Nacton Road – it is expected this will be included in a bus route serving the development.
Once the John Lewis At Home/Waitrose store is completed, attention is expected to switch to the area just above the new access road in the picture.
A planning application has been lodged for this to be occupied by another retail cluster, including a DFS store, Furniture Village, and other units.
The rest of Futura Park is to be used for businesses and offices – and is expected to be developed over the next five years.
Borough councillor with responsibility for economic development Carole Jones said the success of the development was a great advert for the town.
She said: “It is a time of great economic difficulty for the country but developments like this have been a real bright spot for the town.
“It is good to see how this is all coming along and having the stores open in November will be a real boost for the town in the run-up to Christmas.
“With this development and the construction of the new Premier Inn and Travelodge hotels there are some real bright spots for the town.”
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