Multi-million pound Travelodge and retail complex coming to Ipswich

Daren Burney, founder and managing director of the Burney Group

Daren Burney, founder and managing director of the Burney Group, which is planning to build a 99-bed Travelodge next to Ipswich Town Football Club - Credit: Burney Group

The developer behind plans to build a 99-bed Travelodge next to Ipswich Town Football Club says provided there are no planning hold-ups, it could be finished as soon as August 2022.

Essex property developer and investor Daren Burney hopes if all goes well and he achieves planning permission within his hoped-for timescale, construction could start as soon as August this year and be completed within a 52-week timeframe.

The Chigwell-based businessman snapped up Russell Road Retail Park in Ipswich near the town’s waterfront for an undisclosed sum — subject to planning.

Mr Burney — who founded the Burney Group back in 1997 — submitted an application to build a multimillion pound four-storey hotel on the 2.6 acre site in early April and will be putting the work out to tender in the next 10 days (end of April). The bids can be adjusted if plans change as the application goes through but it means that the chosen construction company will be in a position to start as soon as approvals have been secured.

“We are excited because it will be a great project for the town,” he said. “We are very hands-on — I must have been to the site six times in the last month.”

Burney Group has been involved in a number of projects in East Anglia and in Norfolk and has just completed a smaller 56-bed Travelodge in Boston, Lincolnshire. Other projects include a Co-op store in Chartwell Road, Norwich, and a Starbucks Drive Thru in Kings Lynn.

The company recently snapped up a six acre site Stanton EuroPark, Harwich — which is now designated as a government Freeport area — and will be submitting a planning application for phase one of the development which will include a 60-bed Travelodge Hotel and a Starbucks Drive Thrus to include Starbucks.

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“Every build is exciting because we build and retain everything for our portfolio,” said Mr Burney. “We don’t sell anything.”

The managing director — who owns non-league club Hastings Utd and was an associated director at Tottenham Hotspur FC for 13 years — said he was sure there was “some synergy” between Travelodge and ITFC, which is now under new ownership. 

“The club and Travelodge will no doubt speak,” he said. “I have spoken to Rosie Richardson (director of sales at ITFC). We have a good relationship with the football club.”

Property consultants Carter Jonas has acted on behalf of Burney Group on the acquisition of the site, which lies close to the Chancery Road/Grafton Way junction and Princes Street.

Part of the plans for the site include a retail warehouse which is currently split into a 16,651sq ft unit and one measuring 24,450sq ft. 

Burney Group plans to breathe new life into the vacant site by refurbishing the existing space and dividing the warehouse into five separate units ranging in size from 4,327sq ft to 11,032sq ft. 

Despite the Covid-19 crisis Mr Burney is upbeat and believes there is a market out there for the retail units he is planning. “Eventually we’ll come through Covid,” he said.

The land which has recently been acquired by the Burney Group in Russell Road, Ipswich

The land which has recently been acquired by the Burney Group in Russell Road, Ipswich, where developers have submitted plans for a new Travelodge hotel in the square section of the car park. - Credit: Google Maps

Carter Jonas associate Samuel Turner said in the current climate, landlords and investors were exploring opportunities to repurpose existing retail space to “better fit the rapidly evolving needs of potential occupiers and the Russell Road site offers a huge amount of scope”. The plans were already attracting “strong interest” with one unit already under offer, he added.

“At the end of the day you have got to be bold or mad,” said Mr Burney. “We are putting our money where our mouth is.”

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