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New site raises questions over Ipswich Bury Road warehouse development

PUBLISHED: 08:32 20 September 2018

The site off Harris Way, Ipswich, which Headlam Group is planning to develop for its distribution centre Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

The site off Harris Way, Ipswich, which Headlam Group is planning to develop for its distribution centre Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

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One of Europe’s largest flooring distributors given the green light to build a warehouse behind Anglia Retail Park is eyeing plans for another site elsewhere in town.

The Headlam group wanted to upgrade its Hadleigh distribution centre to a larger facility, and in January 2017 had plans for a new £15million centre behind Anglia Retail Park off Bury Road in Ipswich approved.

The proposals sparked opposition from residents whose homes backed onto the site, but were approved by Ipswich Borough Council’s planning committee with 30 conditions imposed to mitigate against impact on neighbours.

Now, the firm looks set to instead attempt to redevelop the site of a former bacon factory and abattoir off Harris Way, which it is understood will mean it does not need to pursue the Bury Road plans.

Steve Miller, who spoke on behalf of the applicants at this morning’s planning committee said: “Ipswich is an ideal location for them and they have been attempting to find a suitable location here for a number of years.

“Headlam are grateful for the planning permission granted for the proposal [in 2017] even though there was some opposition for the proposals.

“A company review has identified a need for a much larger facility and the Harris site has become available.”

The land is currently only partly used for car storage.

Planning officers had recommended that the application be approved, however it has been delegated to the head of planning to green light after discussions over potential footpaths and the possibility of a bridge over the River Gipping have been ironed out.

If a solution cannot be sought, the matter could return to the planning committee in the autumn. The planning committee were however broadly in favour of the plans.

Councillor Colin Kreidewolf said: “This development should be welcomed by all of us here – it’s an area designated for employment use, and this would represent a significant increase in employment use. It is a word of support in economic development in our town.”

Around 150 people are expected to be employed at the facility, at least 80 of which are being brought with them.

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