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Could new Specsavers be on the way to this empty Ipswich building?

PUBLISHED: 07:30 04 July 2019

The former DHL offices in Ipswich, which could be turned into a health diagnostic facility. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

The former DHL offices in Ipswich, which could be turned into a health diagnostic facility. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

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Specsavers has been eyeing Ipswich offices vacated by logistics firm DHL a year ago as a new sight test clinic, it has emerged.

The former DHL offices in Ipswich, which could be turned into a health diagnostic facility. Picture: GOOGLE MAPSThe former DHL offices in Ipswich, which could be turned into a health diagnostic facility. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

The site at the junction of Hadleigh Road and London Road was last used by the global distribution giant in April 2018, and it has now submitted a planning application to the borough council.

It proposes to change the use of the building from office to a surgical and diagnostic treatment centre, which it said would be for treating both private and NHS patients.

If approved, it could create around 10 new jobs.

Papers submitted in the application said it had interest from an Ipswich based osteopath firm, an Essex agent on behalf of the NHS as a drop-in centre, Specsavers, a Colchester-based printing business, a Hadleigh-originated kindergarten school and an Essex developer looking to turn it into homes.

The application added: "Whilst the above were all interested parties that progressed into either looking at the property on more than one occasion, or entering into tentative discussions, with the exception of the Ipswich based osteopath and Specsavers/Newmedica, the above interest has disappeared or not progressed further for various reasons."

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It is not yet clear whether talks with the osteopaths or Specsavers are still ongoing or whether a deal has been struck.

The plans are currently in the consultation period and will go before the council's planning committee from the end of the summer.

The application added: "The service offer will include both private and NHS services and will provide a vital health service which can be offered to patients within a convenient and sustainable location within Ipswich.

"Treatments can normally be expected to begin within six weeks of referral.

"The marketing strategy confirms that in the commercial agent's professional opinion, the site itself is not conducive to a modern office environment, given its location, layout and condition.

"It is clear from the marketing strategy, that most of the interest in the site was from healthcare and related providers, which not only provide employment uses, but also create community facilities."

A spokesman from Specsavers has been contacted for comment.

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