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£50m shopping centre given go-ahead

PUBLISHED: 07:30 18 December 2008 | UPDATED: 12:45 09 March 2010

STAR NEWS     SIMON

An artist’s impression of the proposed Westgate Centre earmarked on the site of the former Civic Centre in Ipswich

Pictures contributed   2/10/08

EADT 3.10.08
EADT BUSINESSEAST 18/11/08

STAR NEWS SIMON An artist’s impression of the proposed Westgate Centre earmarked on the site of the former Civic Centre in Ipswich Pictures contributed 2/10/08 EADT 3.10.08 EADT BUSINESSEAST 18/11/08

A £50MILLION scheme for a major shopping centre in the heart of Ipswich has been given the go-ahead.

Ipswich councillors have approved the project for the former Civic Centre which is next to the New Wolsey Theatre and links to Westgate Street, one of the town's major shopping arteries.

A £50MILLION scheme for a major shopping centre in the heart of Ipswich has been given the go-ahead.

Ipswich councillors have approved the project for the former Civic Centre which is next to the New Wolsey Theatre and links to Westgate Street, one of the town's major shopping arteries.

Turnstone, developers who specialise in office, retail and leisure complexes, is to build a 15,000 square metres of shopping space as well as a detached café/restaurant above the spiral car park, a three-storey building fronting Westgate Street, and 11 new homes.

A report to the development control committee by planning officers said the proposal was be “a benefit to the town. It is important to support investment in the town centre in order to promote regeneration and the vitality and viability of Ipswich as a shopping destination.”

After approval was signalled by the planners yesterday, Turnstone director Nick Scott said: “Having consulted extensively with the local community, we received overwhelming support for our proposals, which aim to complement the existing retail infrastructure of the town as well as creating further investment and new employment opportunities.

“Plans include the creation of a prominent entrance to open up Westgate Street through to the New Wolsey Theatre, fully integrating the new shopping area with Ipswich town centre.

“Significant improvements will also be made to the environment around the Westgate Centre which will contribute to the increased vitality of this part of Ipswich.”

Mr Scott added: “In direct response to feedback received from the local community during the 12 month consultation process, improvements to the theatre have been incorporated into the development as well as restaurants, cafés, residential units, and an existing public amphitheatre.”

The site was bought by Turnstone in August last year for £8.15million.

The Civic Centre, which is currently being demolished, was opened in 1970 and became redundant when the borough council moved its administrative offices to Grafton House in Russell Road.


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