New £32m vision could transform Ipswich’s Grafton Way riverside

A new planning application has been submitted to transform Grafton Way in Ipswich. Picture: GREGG BR

A new planning application has been submitted to transform Grafton Way in Ipswich. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

A new vision for the riverside land beside Grafton Way in Ipswich has been published – with proposals for 173 new homes on the site.

The new planning application has been received by Ipswich Council, and is substantially different to the application approved two years ago.

Plans for a block of flats and a new hotel have gone. Now the planned development is exclusively town houses – 69 two-bed homes, 79 three-bed homes and 25 four-bed homes.

There are proposals for two commercial units at the Stoke Bridge end of the site – and the whole area would be landscaped as an urban waterside park creating an attractive route from the railway station to the Waterfront and university.

The new outline planning application, from Plutus (Ipswich), has been lodged with Ipswich council and is expected to be discussed by the borough’s planning and development committee during the spring.

Although it is technically an outline application, more than 80 documents have been submitted to the borough, and planning officers expect a full planning application for at least the first phase of the development would be made fairly soon if the outline plan gets the go-ahead.

The commercial units could be shops, restaurants or have other commercial uses – although the applicants expect them to mainly appeal to food outlets.

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The overall cost of developing the site is expected to be just under £32m at today’s prices – and the developers expect it would take two years to complete from the start of construction work.

The proposed scheme was given a welcome from the chair of the Ipswich Vision Partnership, Terry Hunt.

He said: “This application would appear to tick two of the boxes we are very keen to see developed – we would get more people living in the town centre and there would be the creation of an attractive new walking route from the station to the Waterfront.

“It also looks more realistic than some of the other applications for that site.”

Over the last 10 years there have been different schemes planned for the site. Tesco wanted to build a superstore there, but after getting permission the recession hit and its plans were abandoned.

Then two years ago there were plans for 250 homes, including 80 flats in a tower block, a hotel and other retail units – but that was abandoned last June.

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