New vision for Grimwade Street puts chippy's future in doubt
PUBLISHED: 19:02 01 May 2019
The owner of a fish and chip shop in Ipswich fears he will be left homeless - after the council revealed it is hoping to build affordable homes in the area.
Ipswich Borough Council have confirmed major plans are in the pipeline for the redevelopment of Grimwade Street, with work hoping to start in 2020.
The street, which is part of the town's one-way system, has deteriorated in recent years and the council is looking to improve the area.
A spokesman for Ipswich Borough Council said: “We want to redevelop this area and build much needed homes.
“We contacted the leaseholders in September last year to give them considerable notice and we continue to offer relocation advice and help.
“Our development proposals will go through the normal planning process later this year.”
Proposals for the new affordable housing are set to go to the executive committee in May and onto the planning committee later in the year.
If they are approved, work could start in 2020 – but this means that a number of businesses, including an off-licence, a fish and chip shop and a charity shop, will be forced to look elsewhere.
Russan Ilhan, the owner of Fresh Fry fish and chip shop, which will be replaced by the new developments, is worried about his future – and feels the council has not done enough to help him.
Not only does he own the business, but the 29-year-old also lives in the flat upstairs.
He said: “It's been a real shock and I don't know what to do – I fear that I may end up homeless.”
The fish and chip shop will close its doors for the final time on Sunday, June 2, after opening seven years ago.
Mr Ilhan, who says he has no family in the area, took the shop on in 2015 with the help of his brother.
“I've put so much effort into my business so it is a really hard time for me as I can't find anything else,” he added.
Mr Ilhan, whose family now lives in London, said his future is now uncertain and fears he won't be able to find a new unit before he has to leave.
It's not yet clear how many homes, or what type of housing the council is planning – and there is no confirmation on which leaseholders will have to leave the premises.
However, the council said all of them have been notified of the news.
Last year, Ipswich Borough Council pursued enforcement action over the former Peter's Ice Cream facility, which is also in Grimwade Street.
This was a result of the poor state of the buildings and is part of the bid to improve the area.
An update in one the council's enforcement action reports said that the site, which now partly contains a temporary car wash business, has “deteriorated significantly in recent years”.