Plans revealed for 60 flats in former Woolworths building

The former Woolworths in Carr Street, Ipswich, now home to Poundland, has been sold as an investment

The former Woolworths in Carr Street, Ipswich, now home to Poundland, has been sold as an investment. Picture: DAVID VINCENT - Credit: Archant

Plans for a 60-flat development in the former Woolworths building in Carr Street have been revealed. 

Two floors of vacant retail have been earmarked for conversion into residential units, with 32 one-bed flats, 25 two-bed flats and three three-bed flats proposed above the Poundland and Age UK shops. 

The upper floors have been vacant since Woolworths closed 13 years ago, in 2008.

In the application submitted to Ipswich Borough Council, planners state this development would bring a "substantially vacant building" back into use, as well as being a "sustainable reuse of unsightly upper floors" with planned terraces and large areas of glazing "enlivening" the building.

Sketch of Carr Street flats by architecture firm Sub Rosa Architecture

Designs have been submitted to the planning portal at Ipswich Borough Council - Credit: Sub Rosa Architecture

Designs show that each of the 60 flats would have some form of private amenity space, either with a terrace, an inset balcony or a roof garden.

The main residential entrance would be on Cox Lane and 120 new cycle parking spaces have been proposed.

Documents note that the applicant is keen to ensure the current ground floor retail space continues to operate and are "unaffected by the development".

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However there will not be any provision of affordable housing as part of the scheme, after a viability assessment undertaken by the applicant confirmed the proposals "could not support the delivery of affordable housing".

Pre-application discussions are referenced as part of the application, noting: "Comments were overwhelmingly supportive of the conversion and roof extension with particular support for the amenity space provision."

A number of other town centre units have been the subject of residential planning applications, with Jessops camera shop cited for three flats and six potential units at a Knapton Court office block.

The former Co-op headquarters, also in Carr Street, was recently converted into 36 flats in a project costing upwards of £2million.

Attracting people to live in the town centre is a key part of Ipswich Central's '15-minute town' vision, which was announced in March 2021.

This model seeks to encourage more urban living, with all essential amenities accessible within a 15-minute journey by foot or bicycle.