New Ipswich restaurant plan revealed – and Nutella pizza is on the menu

PUBLISHED: 11:30 09 November 2020 | UPDATED: 14:18 09 November 2020

Pizzas could be back on the menu in Upper Brook Street in Ipswich - 12 years after Pizza Hut pulled out. Picture: DAVE KINDRED

Pizzas could be back on the menu in Upper Brook Street in Ipswich - 12 years after Pizza Hut pulled out. Picture: DAVE KINDRED

Ever felt the desperate need for takeaway Nutella pizza from the heart of Ipswich? Your prayers could soon be answered after Fireaway Pizza put in a planning application to turn a former betting shop back into a restaurant and takeaway.

Jennings Bet in Upper Brook Street, Ipswich closed last year. Photo: Archant.Jennings Bet in Upper Brook Street, Ipswich closed last year. Photo: Archant.

Fireaway Pizzas, which has about 40 branches in the south of England, is applying for planning permission to turn the former Jennings Bet bookmakers in Upper Brook Street into a restaurant and takeaway.

The site was the home of Ipswich’s first Pizza Hut restaurant which opened in 1986 and operated for more than 20 years before the company decided to concentrate on takeaways, deliveries and restaurants out of the town centre like the Anglia Retail Park.

However Fireaway Pizzas’ agents have pointed out the long history of having a restaurant on the site in their planning application to Ipswich Council.

Fireaway Pizza was founded in London in 2016 and has since expanded to towns and cities from Falkirk in Scotland to Barnstaple in Devon – but most of its outlets are in Greater London.

Fireaway Pizza labels itself Fireaway Pizza labels itself "The home of the Nutella Pizza." Picture: FIREAWAY PIZZA/IPSWICH COUNCIL

Most of its products are savoury pizzas – but it does offer some sweet options and bills itself as “The home of the Nutella Pizza!”

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The application is for a restaurant with 24 seats – but it expects most of its business to come from takeaways or deliveries. In its planning application it says about 45% of its customers would be expected to eat on the premises with 55% having their food delivered or picked up.

In its planning application, the company says the restaurant would be open from 11am to 11pm from Sunday to Thursday and on Friday and Saturday nights it would be open until 3am. It would provide seven full-time jobs.

MORE: Pizza Express has closed one of its Ipswich restaurants

It says that the appearance of the conservation area that the unit is in would not be harmed by the new use – and emphasises that it traded as a pizza restaurant for more than 20 years before being converted into a betting shop in 2008.

Ipswich Central chief executive Paul Clement was enthusiastic about the application. He said: “Bring it on! This is what we want to see in the town centre, more food and drink and more residential development – and more jobs is also very welcome. This is just the kind of thing we want to see. I hope it gets planning permission.”

Since the first lockdown there has been a major shift from people visiting traditional restaurants to using takeaway and delivery services. This application comes just weeks after Pizza Express closed its Lloyds Avenue restaurant – although its Waterfront outlet is still trading and hoping to attract diners again if the current lockdown ends next month.

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