Hotel boost for town centre

A STAGGERING seven new hotels featuring up to 1,000 rooms are in the pipeline for Ipswich town centre, The Evening Star can reveal today.

A STAGGERING seven new hotels featuring up to 1,000 rooms are in the pipeline for Ipswich town centre, The Evening Star can reveal today.

As part of an ongoing regeneration of Ipswich and the waterfront, developers are hoping to take advantage of the town's rapid growth and boom area status.

Now hundreds of millions of pounds are set to be ploughed in to the town to provide rooms for business people and visitors.

It is believed the developments will invigorate the town's business community making Ipswich a more attractive location for big business.

Meanwhile more people are likely to visit the town and hundreds of jobs will be created, providing a boost to the area's economy.

Developers Waterfront Regeneration has already been granted planning permission for one of the proposed developments - an 81-room hotel on the former Cranfields Mill site on Ipswich Waterfront.

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A further five applications will go before town planners for approval this month.

These include an ambitious three-hotel development put forward by developers Braceforce for the St Peter's Port site as well as two other hotels on the south side of the River Orwell in the town centre.

Leading town centre figure Paul Clement said the town is in desperate need of new hotels to cope with the demand of business people visiting the town.

He said: “Hotels in the town are at capacity and this is about meeting the current need.

“More hotel space in the town will attract businesses because firms will know they are moving to a place where people can stay overnight.

“It also makes Ipswich more of a destination with people staying for a number of nights.”

Meanwhile, one of the hotels on the St Peter's Port site is set to boost the town's luxury tourism industry.

Currently the four-star Salthouse Harbour Hotel, built in 2003 on the Waterfront, is the only luxury hotel in the town centre.

This is set to be joined by a 58-room New York-style “boutique hotel” with each room individually designed by a world-class interior designer.

Sales and marketing director at Braceforce, John Di Carlo, said Ipswich is set to benefit from the raft of new hotels.

He said: “Our research has revealed a huge demand for grade A, eco-friendly offices in the centre of town, both from businesses already in the town and those prepared to re-locate.

“We will be providing the most highly-specified offices in Suffolk with an extremely low carbon footprint. “We have absolutely no doubt that St Peter's Port will support and boost the changing face of Ipswich life in business and in leisure.”

N Does Ipswich need seven new hotels? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

1-3. Three hotels planned for the former Burton site between Star Lane and College Street to be constructed by developers Braceforce Group. A Tesco Express store will be sited on the ground floor.

Accor, Europe's largest hotel group, has committed to a 165 room Etap hotel.

Whitbread, Britain's leading leisure operator, has agreed terms on a 117-room Premier Travel Inn as well as a new Brewer's Fayre restaurant - expected to be the largest restaurant in Ipswich.

Negotiations are also at a final stage with another hotel group to provide a New York-style boutique hotel with 58 rooms, each individually designed by a world-class interior designer. This hotel is also planning to incorporate a large conference centre capable of accommodating over 500 people, a rooftop restaurant with panoramic views of the night sky and a modern bar.

Rooms: 340 in total

165-room Etap hotel, 117-room Premier Travel Inn & 58-room New York-style boutique hotel

Developers: Braceforce Group

Permission: Decision likely to be made by October 24.

4. A Ramada Encore hotel planned for Ranelagh Road. Fairview want to build a 127-bed hotel on the former premises of Compair Reavell on Ranelagh Road.

The Star understands the Fairview development is likely to become a Ramada “Encore” hotel while the

hotel would also include a restaurant, bar and meeting rooms for guest use.

The building is intended part of a development of 358 apartments currently being constructed by Fairview off Ranelagh Road.

Rooms: 127

Developers: Fairview

Permission: Decision likely to be made by October 19.

5. Developers Persimmon hope to build a 111-bed hotel on Hayes Road.

The Persimmon development would include two meeting rooms and a café bar.

Both applications will go before Ipswich Borough Council's planning committee tonight and have both been recommended for approval by officers.

Rooms: 111

Developers: Persimmon

Permission: Decision likely to be made by October 16.

6. Plans approved for an 81-room hotel as part of Live at The Mill scheme at the former Cranfield Mill site.

Rooms: 81

Developers: Waterfront Regeneration Ltd.

Permission: Already granted.

7. Talks are in progress between Ipswich Borough Council and Turnstone Estates about an £18million development on Portman Road including a hotel.

Rooms: Unknown

Developers: Turnstone Estates

Permission: As yet no plans have been submitted.