Hundreds of new jobs set for town

HUNDREDS of jobs will be created in Ipswich if a multi-million pound regeneration project gets the go-ahead.

Naomi Cassidy

HUNDREDS of jobs will be created in Ipswich if a multi-million pound regeneration project gets the go-ahead.

Plans to redevelop the site of the former B&Q store in Grafton Way have been unveiled for the first time and include a range of retail units and housing.

Spenhill Regeneration Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tesco, has just bought the site and is in the early stages of putting together firm proposals before it is presented to the council to ask for planning permission.

Spenhill Regeneration will conduct a full public consultation with residents before a planning application is finalised. Details of the consultation will be available over the course of the summer.

Initial plans for the site include a range of retail units, including a Tesco store, along with other uses such as housing.

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The site was closed in September 2006 and has remained vacant since then.

A Spenhill Regeneration spokesman said: “We hope to invest millions of pounds in the Grafton Way site to build an exciting project which would include housing and shopping. This would create hundreds of jobs.

“However, we are still at an early stage and we will talk to local people about what they want to see before finalising our plans.”

Paul Clement, executive director of Ipswich Central, said: “It is a site that has been vacant for a number of years and I'm glad there are proposals that will see it re-occupied.

“If that brings with it more retail use to the town centre and particularly town centre living, I think it should be encouraged.”