Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 6°C

min temp: 3°C

Search

Poll: Doubt plan to revitalise Stowmarket’s town centre will ever go-ahead

PUBLISHED: 16:05 24 April 2014 | UPDATED: 16:05 24 April 2014

Ipswich Street in Stowmarket

Ipswich Street in Stowmarket

A multi-million pound project to revitalise a town centre is unlikely to ever happen, according to an economy boss.

The much-delayed redevelopment of Stowmarket’s Ipswich Street – which could have seen new national chain shops built – has been thrown into doubt.

Dave Benham, corporate manager for economic development and tourism at Mid Suffolk District Council, said the major project was “doable” in 2008 when the plans were first put forward. But in 2010 the council lost its bid to compulsory purchase the existing buildings in the street which needed to be bulldozed.

Mr Benham said: “Whether it will come back, I will not hold my breath. It was proposed in 2008 when it was doable but after the inquiry went down and the economy changed the circumstances were different – property value plummeted.

“I do not know; I would be pleasantly surprised if it did happen, but I’m not that optimistic.

“If it had happened when it had the chance then it would have worked and been successful. Stowmarket is the sort of place that could have supported it.”

He said the last time the council was in contact with the developer over the plans was around a year ago.

Gary Green, county councillor for Stowmarket North and Stowupland, said: “At the end of the day the markets and experts are saying that things are looking up – there’s a lot of potential to have new shops and flats above them – so it would absolutely be a missed opportunity.

“The town, despite reports, is not doing too badly – there’s not many empty shops – there’s a number of estate agents and charity shops but if you look around all towns have them.”

He said the council had told him major retailers were often interested in towns when their population exceeded 20,000 – a number Stowmarket is hovering around.

Mr Benham said the way shoppers spent money was changing and had impacted upon the number of developers keen on major projects.

Sharon Brown, town centre manager for Stowmarket Town Centre Partnership, said: “If we want growth in the town centre we need change because the structure of the town has changed very little over the last few decades but surrounding the town are huge developments like Cedars Park and Chilton Leys, which is being built.

“The housing is huge but the shops are not keeping up with it, we need more shops and more choice.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ipswich Star visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ipswich Star staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ipswich Star account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More checks have been carried out in Ipswich by police investigating the murder of a man earlier this year.

A high-profile former politician will bring plenty of pomp to a leading role in a spectacular family pantomime in Suffolk.

Posters have been put up in Ipswich calling for bus passengers to help in a police enquiry.

Suffolk firefighters have managed to put out a blaze which sparked in a shed in Rushmere St Andrew this evening.

A lifelong Ipswich Town fan is to jet off on a 1,000-mile round trip from Madrid to Portman Road and back again to make sure he sees his oldest son play in a cup final.

Work to restore the Broomhill lido in Ipswich are set to take a significant step forward as new operators Fusion Lifestyle put the final touches to their application for millions of pounds of National Lottery funding.

Broomhill pool was opened in 1938 and for 65 summers was a popular attraction for Ipswich swimmers – especially youngsters attracted their on hot days.

As the prospect of Suffolk losing a key slice of Constable country to Essex rears its head, the chief executive of the council under threat has intervened.

Two fire engines are currently at the scene of a fire in Rushmere St Andrew.

Suffolk’s tourism industry is facing a major headache ahead of the arrival of the Tour of Britain cycling race – but it’s the kind of problem businesses will relish.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24