DIY bridge building

A NEW river crossing could be built in Stowmarket as part of a possible DIY store development.The proposal in Prentice Road, which is expected to be given the go-ahead tomorrow, is one of two in the pipeline.

A NEW river crossing could be built in Stowmarket as part of a possible DIY store development.

The proposal in Prentice Road, which is expected to be given the go-ahead tomorrow, is one of two in the pipeline.

The other is for a Focus DIY store, off Gipping Way and Bridge Street, although planning officers have recommended this scheme be ditched.

A report points out it could impact on the town centre's "vitality and viability" and is earmarked for an inappropriate site.


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But planners have backed the Prentice Road scheme, saying it would benefit the town's overall shopping hub.

Robert Eburne, development control manager, said: "There is an established need for this type of facility and the site is identified for this use in the local plan.

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"It is also reasonably close to the town centre, and given the highway improvements proposed, there is greater potential for linked shopping trips.

"There appears to be no overriding planning reasons to refuse planning permission."

The development, covering 1.6 acres of overgrown scrub, would include 85 parking spaces and could be split into two parts if required. At present, it is not known which company would occupy the premises, if and when they are built.

A footbridge would also be built across the River Gipping as part of the plans, linking with a new toucan crossing across Gipping Way.

A one-metre wide footpath would be added to Prentice Road, which would be restricted to one-way traffic in places.

The new bridge plan is separate to the multi-million construction of the new B1115 relief road in Stowmarket, which will create additional river crossings. This project is expected to be completed within three years.

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