Objections lodged over Ipswich steelworks country move plans

Eastern Structures Ltd is hoping to move from its base at Cliff Road on the dockside at Ipswich to a new purpose-built...

Eastern Structures Ltd is hoping to move from its base at Cliff Road on the dockside at Ipswich to a new purpose-built site at Levington - Credit: GOOGLE MAPS

Villagers are opposing plans by an Ipswich steelworks company to move to a countryside setting and expand its business.

Eastern Structures Ltd wants to relocate its Cliff Road business to a strip of land between the old A45 and Ipswich-Felixstowe rail line at Levington.

The company says traffic congestion in Ipswich and its current dockland site being used to capacity with no room to expand has led to the need to move.

But villagers have written to East Suffolk Council objecting to the proposals for the site - which include a 450 sq m workshop, 256 sq m storage building, plus another building and external storage.

Levington and Stratton Hall Parish Council said the site near the junction with Bridge Road currently had permission for agricultural use - planners were told it would be used for hay-making - and previous plans for industry had been rejected.

It "strongly opposes" the plans and has been urging East Suffolk Council to take enforcement action over the current use of the site, though the district council has halted its investigation into the issue until the new planning application is decided.

It would be "alien" in the flat open countryside, the site was not allocated as employment land in the new local plan and was not needed.

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Vision Design and Planning Consultants Ltd, on behalf of Eastern Structures Ltd, said the company had been using the land for limited storage for a period of time without the benefit of permission.

It said: "It is their intention to move their entire operation to the site at Levington to both enhance their current operational activities but importantly, to allow for an expansion in growth.

"Located in the centre of Ipswich, the company are experiencing significant issues with transportation.

"They rely on a number of HGV movements in and out of site on a daily basis. To get out of their location onto the surrounding road network of the A12 and A14 means that they have to either travel through the town centre or east through Ransomes Euro Park. Both routes experience significant traffic congestion and are also becoming less user friendly towards HGV movement."

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