Ipswich set for £230million revamp

IPSWICH will be transformed into a major regional shopping destination should ambitious proposals for a £230million redevelopment of the town centre get the go-ahead, it has been claimed.

IPSWICH will be transformed into a major regional shopping destination should ambitious proposals for a £230million redevelopment of the town centre get the go-ahead, it has been claimed.

Despite ongoing delays, developers are now confident that plans to build the Mint Quarter scheme on the area between Tacket Street and Carr Street will be submitted within 12 months.

Guy Shearer, managing director of Shearer Property Group, said the scheme will comprise a department store, 50 shops and car parking for around 900 cars.

The company is currently in discussions to find up to four anchor tenants for the scheme, including one large department store. The largest units in the massive 500,000 sq ft development will be up to 40,000 sq ft.

Guy Shearer said he hopes to make a planning application early next year and reckons the development will transform the town.

He said: “We believe it will change the face of retailing and lift the whole of Ipswich up to the status of regional shopping destination.

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“At the moment the town doesn't have comprehensive retail facilities and doesn't attract sufficient major retailers to establish itself as a regional shopping destination notwithstanding other development in the area at the moment.

“With new homes in the dock area and the redevelopment of the college and the proposed new university there is a lot going on at the moment.

“It is a dynamic area that is moving forward at an exceptional pace.

“The retail on offer in Ipswich has fallen behind.”

Development plans for the area between Tacket Street and Carr Street have been in the pipeline for some 15 years.

In 1992 plans for a scheme called The Cloisters were published.

The project now known as the Mint Quarter scheme was first proposed in 1995.

Current land owners NCP entered a partnership with Shearer Property Group in 2005.

n. Do you think the project would provide a boost for Ipswich? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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