Work on 173 homes near Cardinal Park in Ipswich could start later this year

The River Orwell and the development side beside it

Plutus Estates hopes to get planning permission to develop this vacant land beside the River Orwell. - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Work to transform an eyesore site in Ipswich into 173 new riverside homes is expected to start later this year after a new developer bought the land. 

Galliard Homes has purchased the site, which has planning permission for 69 two-bed homes, 79 three-bed properties and 25 four-bed houses off Grafton Way and Commercial Road

The proposal also includes public open space, two retail or restaurant units and £500,000 contributions to highways, schools and library improvements.

The land, between the River Orwell and Cardinal Park, has mostly been used as a temporary car park, and was previously home to B&Q before it closed more than a decade ago.

Previous plans have included an ambitious scheme to build a new Tesco superstore, a hotel and flats on the site.

Spenhill - the development arm of Tesco - got planning permission in early 2011, despite major concerns about the development's possible impact on town centre shops. 

But the development fell victim to the economic recession and Tesco then announced it would not be going ahead with the proposals. 

Developer Plutus Estates then outlined its vision for the site - for a development of town houses and commercial units, in 2017. 

Architect's impression of the Plutus Estate homes

An early proposal for new homes at the site from Plutus Estates in 2017 - Credit: Plutus Estates

Ipswich Borough Council green-lighted the Plutus application for the 3.11-hectare site in December 2020. 

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The deal with Galliard was then completed in December 2021, and a planned 6% of the homes are being designated affordable.

Work is expected to start at the site later this year, Galliard confirmed. 

Temporary car park off Grafton Way

Part of the site is a temporary car park. - Credit: Charlotte Bond

The homes were generally welcomed when previously discussed and it is hoped they will play a major part in the wider regeneration of Ipswich town centre. 

Once completed, it is estimated the development will be worth around £50million on the open market. 

As well as Grafton Way, Galliard has also purchased key sites in Milton Keynes and Redbridge, London.  

Simon Welch, head of land and affordable homes at Galliard Homes, told Property Investor Today: “We are delighted to have secured three key sites for residential development in Redbridge, Ipswich and Milton Keynes, each promising to bring sought-after new homes and amenities, and help with wider regeneration in their locations.”