Hundreds of jobs could be created in Ipswich with business park by old Park and Ride station, near Asda superstore

An overhead view of Ipswich

An overhead view of Ipswich - Credit: Mike Page

The next stage in developing a major new business park in Ipswich, which could bring with it hundreds of new jobs, has been taken.

Ipswich Borough Council is in “advanced” talks with a regional company to develop land near the former Park and Ride off Bury Road.

The land is part of a site by the A14 which could create hundreds of jobs as a new business park. A section of the overall site is in Ipswich, with the rest, some 20 hectares, within the boundary of Mid Suffolk District Council.

Dan Poulter, MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, said: “Jobs, employment and growth is almost always a positive thing; this sounds like something which could be a great benefit to Ipswich.

“However, we do need to look in more detail at the proposals to ensure that there is appropriate protection for the countryside.”

A spokesman for Ipswich Borough Council said: “We are talking to private sector partners about the development of part of this important site which could see inward investment and a boost for jobs.

“Discussions are progressing and we expect to be able to announce more details shortly. We are also talking to planners in Mid Suffolk about the future of the rest of the site.”

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It is years since there was talk about the site’s development prospects, with discussions having taken place as far back as the 1980s.

Dave Benham, Mid Suffolk’s boss for economic development and tourism, said there was renewed interested in developing the rest of the site.

He said: “There’s interest in the site which hasn’t been allocated, the district boundary goes right through it – half of it is in Ipswich Borough and half in Mid Suffolk.

“We are collaborating with them to bring it forward, it’s a good site behind B&Q, which we really need to pursue. I think it’s been earmarked to go through the process of being allocated (through the planning process), we would be receptive to working with the developer in putting applications for it in collaboration with Ipswich Borough.”

Planners at Mid Suffolk have included the site for consideration as a strategic site in a draft version of its new Local Plan.

James Digby, a director for Ashfield Land, which owns part of the site, said: “We have some land in north-west Ipswich to develop, we have been promoting the land in that area for employment purposes which is going forward.

“As the land which we own lies within the two authorities we have been in discussions with the borough and Mid Suffolk about doing that through their respective planning process.”

A previous vision for the site included a cafe, hotel and restaurant as well as a large public open space area.

The news comes after a contract was signed between Ipswich Borough and two businesses to use the former Park and Ride station.

Car rental and car sales firms have a three-year lease to work from the site. But the spokesman for the borough said there would still be flexibility to bring back the bus service in that period if Suffolk County Council wishes.

The park and ride closed in January 2011.