New services and drive-thru coffee shop rejected
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Proposals for a new services at one of Ipswich’s busiest junctions have been refused by planners.
Euro Garages Ltd last year submitted an application to knock down the Hubbard warehouse building on the roundabout junction connecting Ransomes Europark, Nacton Road, and the Ravenswood estate, and replace it with a petrol station, drive-thru coffee shop and restaurant.
Hubbard is moving to a brand-new purpose-built unit in the nearby Futura Park.
But planning officers at Ipswich Borough Council have now refused to grant planning permission for the new services, citing the land’s use for employment purposes, traffic problems and retail provision as reasons.
It is not yet clear if the applicants intend to appeal the decision or lodge a fresh application.
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Agents for the developer have been approached for comment.
In the refusal notice, the council said it had “not been demonstrated that the site has no reasonable prospect of re-use for the existing use” – currently general industry – and said no retail impact assessment had been submitted.
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“In the absence of these documents, given that the proposed drive-through restaurants are of a comparable scale to the existing provision in the Ravenswood district centre, they are a serious threat to the viability and vitality of the district centre and other similar uses in the borough,” it continued.
The refusal report continued: “The layout of the site would result in vehicles queuing back onto the Ransomes Way/ Nacton Road roundabout which would have a consequential severe impact on vehicular traffic flows and would present a potentially unacceptable safety risk.”
In their application, the developers said: “The proposed development aims to bring jobs, amenity, and access which will represent a positive contribution to the local area.
“The proposal will provide an additional level of amenity to the Ransomes Industrial Estate.
“The design of the site has been carefully considered to maximise space and circulation.
“The proposed buildings represent a high quality, modern clean aesthetic.”
The junction is a key route for Ipswich connecting the A14 to the town centre via the busy Nacton Road route, while homes on the Ravenswood estate and the connections to Ransomes Europark and Futura Park retail and business units means it has a high number of traffic movements.
A £5million bid was made to the Department for Transport’s Pinch Point Fund to address congestion problems there, with Ipswich MP Tom Hunt last year urging the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps to look upon the bid favourably in an address to Parliament.
Euro Garages meanwhile has been behind applications lodged at various points along the A14 for new services in recent years, including at Sproughton, Needham Market and withdrawn plans near Bury St Edmunds.