Ipswich’s Grafton Way redevelopment backed by public at exhibition

The proposed flats and hotel on the Grafton Way site for Plutus - the flats would be in a 13-storey

The proposed flats and hotel on the Grafton Way site for Plutus - the flats would be in a 13-storey block and there will also be live/work units in the development. Picture: PLUTUS (Ipswich).

Proposals to build more than 250 homes, a hotel, six restaurants and a health club on the site of the former B&Q store on Grafton Way in Ipswich are set to be discussed by planners later this year.

The development is proposed for the site of the former B&Q store in Ipswich. Picture: GREG BROWN.

The development is proposed for the site of the former B&Q store in Ipswich. Picture: GREG BROWN. - Credit: Gregg Brown

The application has been lodged by Plutus (Ipswich) Ltd which showed off its plans at a public exhibition at the Novotel hotel earlier this year.

Everyone who attended the exhibition and filled out a comments form said the site was currently an eyesore that needed redevelopment.

Most people welcomed the proposals. But there were questions about the impact on traffic in the area, the design of the buildings in the scheme, and the risk of Flooding.

Plutus wants to build 130 town houses, 81 flats and 48 live-work units on the site – a total of 259 homes. It also wants to include a 60-bedroom hotel, a gym, and six restaurants. It would also create new footpaths, cyclepaths, and green areas.

The site was previously proposed for a Tesco superstore that won planning permission against fierce opposition in 2011 – but those plans were dropped by the retailing giant after it hit financial problems in the recession. The site was then put up for sale.

Plutus has been drawing up the new proposals for some time and has been in pre-application discussions with the council including the exhibition in February.

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The application has now been formally lodged with the borough and is expected to be discussed by its planning and development committee during the autumn.

There have been some changes since February’s exhibition – at that time the number of flats proposed was 120, although the live-work units are a new addition.

The town houses would not have individual gardens, but there would be green areas around them and they would marketed at those needing easy access to the railway station nearby.

And the number of proposed restaurants in an area opposite Cardinal Park has increased.

Although the decision on the planning decision has yet to be made, the proposal for a residential-led development on the site has been welcomed by the borough and there is known to be a demand for more mid-range hotel accommodation in the centre of Ipswich, especially near the Waterfront area.

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