Lidl, Aldi, Iceland – which discount supermarket is moving into empty Ipswich store?

Office Outlet in Ipswich has shut down, but could become a discount food store. Picture: ARCHANT

Office Outlet in Ipswich has shut down, but could become a discount food store. Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

A discount supermarket chain could be set to move into a town centre store vacated just weeks ago by a stationery retailer.

Office Outlet - previously known as Staples - closed the doors of its Russell Road, Ipswich, store in June after the company fell into administration.

But the empty unit now looks likely to become a discount food chain, after a planning condition barring the sale of food was removed by Ipswich Borough Council's planning committee on Wednesday.

In its submission, the developers' agents Nectar Asset Management said: "The application seeks removal of a condition limiting the sale of goods permitted from the retail unit.

"It is anticipated that the unit could be occupied by Lidl or Aldi who are deep-discount food store operators or other food retailers such as Iceland."

The firm added: "The site can play an important role in linking trips between the Ipswich Railway Station and the town centre and represents an opportunity to enhance this part of Princes Street in addition to making significant improvements to the urban streetscape, and public realm.

"Furthermore, the proposal will introduce a service/use that is not currently available in the town centre.

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"It is our understanding through discussions with the council's economic development team that the council have been looking to attract such an occupier to the central areas of the town over a number of years."

The variation of the condition was approved, meaning it can now be used for the sale of food, DIY products, building materials, garden centre products, furniture, carpets, electrical goods, cars and caravans.

While the committee approved the additional use, concerns were raised about traffic impacts.

Councillor Bob Hall, who abstained from the vote on the proposals, said: "I think this will increase the traffic in the area.

"It will make it particularly awkward at certain times with traffic leaving the area at the junction of Princes Street."

It is understood that any new occupier would have to strike an arrangement with the council over delivery restrictions so that those living nearby will not be disturbed by late night truck deliveries.

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