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Temporary car park plan for Ipswich town centre as talks over hotel and office development continue

PUBLISHED: 08:27 01 May 2020

The former garages are boarded up in Princes Street Picture: ARCHANT

The former garages are boarded up in Princes Street Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

More car parking spaces could be on the way for Ipswich town centre as talks continue over a future hotel or office development on the sites involved.

Signs say that demolition of the old garages is to begin soon. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNSigns say that demolition of the old garages is to begin soon. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Ipswich Borough Council has lodged formal plans to demolish the former Aspire Cars and Avanti Autos in Princes Street, both vacated shortly before Christmas.

The council confirmed it plans to use the two areas as temporary car parks, as well as renewing planning permission to use the former site of the old Drum and Monkey pub as a temporary car park for a further year.

Hotel chain Travelodge has been linked with the Drum and Monkey site, while offices has been touted as a possible use for the garages site in the past.

The council’s application said: “The building is in a poor state of repair and currently has a negative impact on the character and appearance of the immediate surrounding area.

“Its demolition in advance of the construction of replacement buildings is seen as a positive impact.”

It comes as part of a £7million revamp of Princes Street into a business corridor for the town.

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In March last year the council confirmed it had been in discussions with a hotel chain, while Travelodge also voiced plans to develop a new hotel close to the railway station.

While both parties are yet to publicly confirm their plans, it is expected that will be on that stretch of Princes Street.

If the planning application is approved, those car parks will run on the same tariff as the existing Princes Street car park – £1 per hour or £5 all day between 8am and 8pm.

Plans are also in the pipeline to develop a multi-storey car park on the large Portman Road car park site, which backs on to the rear of those garages.

According to a report of the council’s executive in February, those temporary car parks would help offset the loss in space when the multi-storey is being built.

Liberal Democrat councillor Oliver Holmes had questioned in February whether the temporary car park plan was lawful because road traffic laws required proof that new spaces were needed.

Planning permission is required as a temporary car park would be considered a change of use of the land, and was needed to satisfy planning policies in the town.

The plans are currently out for public consultation and will be decided sometime from late June onwards.


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