Go Outdoors and The Range set to move to Anglia Retail Park near Ipswich's Asda superstore
PUBLISHED: 06:00 22 December 2016 | UPDATED: 15:53 22 December 2016
Ipswich's Anglia Retail Park near the Whitehouse junction with the A14 could get a further double boost next year with the opening of Go Outdoors and a move by The Range.
Go Outdoors, which has stores in Colchester and Norwich, sells everything from tents, rucksacks, and bikes to outdoor clothing,
And The Range wants to leave the traffic-blighted Suffolk Retail Park between Yarmouth Road and London Road for the more accessible location.
The operators of the retail park have applied to the borough to relax planning restrictions which limit the units at the park to selling “bulky” items – allowing the new tenants to move in to units near the Bounce trampolining centre which is due to open next year.
While the Range does sell furniture and bulky garden equipment, it also sells smaller household goods which appeal to those on a budget – and that will require a relaxation of the “bulky goods” requirement.
Go Outdoors’ clothing ranges put it at odds with the bulky goods restriction.
Neither chains have stores in town centre locations elsewhere in the country – they both see the need for customers to collect bulky items to put straight into their cars as crucial to their offer.
And local MP Dr Dan Poulter hoped the borough would take a relaxed view towards the retail park.
He said: “I’ve had discussions with the owner of the park following B&Q’s decision to pull out – and they said they were determined to find new tenants and give it a new lease of life. It is a very important employment site for people living in Whitton and Whitehouse.
“I think this would be a very good move. I think people now look to either do their shopping in the town centre or go to retail parks on the edge of the town – they don’t want to have to come almost into the town centre to go to a retail park that’s just a bit too far to walk to.”
The application is expected to discussed by the borough’s planning committee early next year.
Ipswich council leader David Ellesmere said he could not comment on the specific application, but the council was trying to preserve the town centre as the prime retail area.
However there were factors surrounding both the retailers that would need careful consideration and advice from council officers.
Both The Range and Go Outdoors have stores at retail parks or in areas where they have surface parking rather than in traditional town centre locations.