New supermarket chain set to join Ransomes retail park

A planning application has gone in for the unit next to B&M in Ransomes Europark Picture: ARCHANT

A planning application has gone in for the unit next to B&M in Ransomes Europark Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

A new supermarket chain is set to join Ransomes Europark in Ipswich, as a unit empty for seven years is finally getting a new lease of life.

A planning application was lodged with Ipswich Borough Council on Monday by NPS European Property II Ltd for a change of use to food retail at the unit next door to B&M at The Sandlings.

Quod, agents on behalf of the applicant, confirmed that the unit will be filled by The Food Warehouse – an arm of supermarket giant Iceland which specialises in low cost bulk buys.

It represents the second store in Suffolk for the retailer after Lowestoft as part of a portfolio of more than 70 stores created nationwide since its launch in 2014.

A spokeswoman from Quod said: “Euro Retail Park is a well-established retail park – other occupiers include B&M, B&Q, Dreams, Halfords, Sports Direct and Carpetright – and boasts 550 car parking spaces for customers.

“The intended occupier of Unit 1b is The Food Warehouse – a trading arm of the food retailer, Iceland.

“The Food Warehouse specialises in low cost bulk buys, similar to membership-only warehouse clubs without the costly membership.”

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The spokeswoman added that the larger floorspace meant it was able to stock more lines than its sister Iceland stores.

The proposals are in the consultation period, and will go before planners later this autumn.

If approved, it is not yet known when the retailer may occupy the unit, but Quod confirmed it would create around 20-25 jobs.

The store represents fresh interest from food retailers in the retail park. In 2014, Morrisons submitted plans to divide the existing B&Q store into two, with half being retained by the DIY giant and the other half being a Morrisons supermarket.

However the plans were refused on the grounds that other sites available at the time were more suitable, and there were concerns over the impact the additional traffic would have on the junctions.

Waitrose, Lidl and Sainsbury’s already have stores nearby.

The news is the latest in a string of developments on the Euro Retail Park site, which has in the last year seen a drive-through Costa being built and the former Pizza Hut restaurant being turned into a Nando’s.