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Sugar beet site: Council in 'advanced negotiations' with next tenant

PUBLISHED: 12:05 31 October 2019 | UPDATED: 12:05 31 October 2019

The old sugar beet silos have been demoslished in Sproughton. Picture: NICOLE DRURY, IBC

The old sugar beet silos have been demoslished in Sproughton. Picture: NICOLE DRURY, IBC

Archant

The next phase of work at the Sproughton sugar beet site has been approved, as "advanced negotiations" are underway for the next occupier.

David Ellesmere said work had been progressing well for the new enterprise park on the former Sproughton sugar beet silo site. Picture: LUCY TAYLORDavid Ellesmere said work had been progressing well for the new enterprise park on the former Sproughton sugar beet silo site. Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

Ipswich Borough Council has been developing the site, known as Eastern Gateway, into a new business park.

The first phase has seen construction of a prominent £40million warehouse for food distribution firm La Doria Ltd (LDH) and spine roads built.

Now, the council has confirmed it is in "advanced negotiations" with another firm to occupy the site.

Ipswich Borough Council leader David Ellesmere said: "Work is progressing very well there.

"There has been a huge amount of work done by the council and perhaps the most visible part is the demolition of the silos.

"We are on the verge of agreeing the second large occupier on the site which will require us to proceed with the next phase of infrastructure work.

"The time scales are fairly tight because these are the time scales the potential occupier has said.

"We do need to proceed with them, allocating funding for this and allow officers to proceed with that so we can get on with this scheme.

"We do not want to lose the opportunity with this next occupier."

The council's executive on Tuesday agreed to pursue the next phase of infrastructure work surrounding power, gas and water connections, and the next phase of road building to be delivered by March 2020.

The decision to approve the next stage of work has been made exempt to a 'call-in' challenge, because the General Election announcement means many council meetings will not be able to sit, and therefore no other opportunity before Christmas to iron out problems, which could lose the opportunity to secure the new tenant.

The council bought the site four years ago as an economic regeneration project.

Mr Ellesmere has previously said that there were no plans for it to be used as an out-of-town retail park that could threaten the town centre, and aimed to secure other occupiers like LDH.

The project has been supported by the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership which has invested £500,000 to aid job creation at the new enterprise park.

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