May 18 2013 Latest news:
By Paul Geater
Thursday, September 20, 2012
MYSTERY today surrounds the future of one of the largest stores in the heart of Ipswich as proposals to develop a nine-screen cinema in the Buttermarket are set to be discussed by planners.
Multiplex giants Vue have submitted an application to develop the cinema.
It is due to be discussed by planners next week and it would be a major shock if they rejected the move which is generally seen to be a major boost for the town centre.
However while most of the area to be converted is vacant, it does include about half of the existing TK Maxx store on the first floor of the Buttermarket centre.
There would also be issues with access to the cinema if the rest of the TK Maxx store remained in place across the central concourse.
All the artists impressions produced to support the application show the area currently occupied by TK Maxx cleared – and these form a fundamental plank of the planning application.
The Star understands that there have been talks between senior figures at TK Maxx and the owners of the rival Tower Ramparts centre about moving into the former Littlewoods store.
A spokeswoman for TK Maxx said: “ We are aware of a planning application with regard to the Buttermarket shopping centre however, we are not currently able to comment on these plans in relation to our store.”
There is also speculation that another retailer could be moving into Tower Ramparts after the Tavern Street premises of fashion retailer River Island was put up for let.
The shopping centre, which opened in 1986, was sold last year to property giant Lasalle amid promises that it would be revamped following the purchase.