Planning hitch puts question mark over plans for Ipswich supermarket
PUBLISHED: 19:00 30 August 2020 | UPDATED: 21:20 30 August 2020
Proposals to build a new supermarket on Ipswich’s Anglia Retail Park have been hit by planning problems - and questions over the future of Aldi’s nearby Meredith Road store.
Ipswich Borough Assets, which owns the retail park, has been in talks with a supermarket operator for some time about building a new store on the site of the former B&Q garden centre.
This is the last empty unit at the park – and it has been a priority for the owners to find a new tenant for that site for some time.
IBA has now found a tenant, a major supermarket chain, but the planning permission for the Anglia Retail Park says that companies operating there should sell bulky goods – and supermarkets would not normally fall into that category.
To get that condition amended, anyone applying for planning permission would have to pass the “sequential test” – they would have to pass through a series of planning hoops proving that there was nowhere else within a reasonable area where they could operate.
At present, the future of the Aldi store in Meredith Road is uncertain. The company has employed an estate agent to market the site, saying it intends to move from that store when its new supermarket at Europa Way is completed next year.
However, officially it is saying the future of Meredith Road has not yet been decided.
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This uncertainty means that planners at Ipswich council would be unable to recommend approval for any new supermarket at Anglia Retail Park, because they could argue that it may be possible to move into Meredith Road rather than develop a new site.
It is unlikely that the council-owned Ipswich Borough Assets would put in a planning application to the borough knowing that its officers were likely to recommend refusal.
IBA chairman and borough councillor Colin Kreidewolf accepted that, at present, the situation regarding the application is at a stalemate.
“We have issues with the sequential test and that means it’s difficult to press ahead with that but we are really pleased to have a new operator for the trampoline centre,” he said.
Jump In Adventure and Trampoline Park has taken over the former Bounce and Billy Beez centre, saving 40 jobs.
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