Ipswich: Tesco withdraws controversial Grafton Way application

The Tesco development that has now been withdrawn.

The Tesco development that has now been withdrawn. - Credit: Contributed

Tesco’s controversial application to develop land at Grafton Way near Ipswich town centre has been withdrawn just hours before it was due to come up before borough planners.

Spenhill Regeneration, part of Tesco, withdrew the application to build a supermarket, hotels, and homes on the site today.

It had been due to be discussed by members of the borough’s planning and development committee tomorrow. Planning officers had recommended the application should be refused.

Tesco had already announced it did not want to develop a supermarket on the site itself – but it hoped to sell it on with planning permission.

A spokesman for the borough said officers were now keen to meet Spenhill bosses to discuss future plans for the site.

Council leader David Ellesmere said: “While we welcome the withdrawal of the planning application we now want to meet with company representatives as soon as possible to discuss their plans and the future of this important site for the town.”

Tesco decided not to develop the site last year but commissioned property agents to put it on the market.

It already has planning permission for a supermarket, which was granted in 2011, but work on that has never been started.

Ipswich Central has been trying to persuade the borough to turn down the application and concentrate development efforts on other sites in the town.

Chief Executive Paul Clement said: “Years of campaigning and the Council’s recommendation to refuse permission have achieved the right outcome for the town centre.

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“Months ago, we asked for an end to the uncertainty by calling for Tesco to either build out or get out.

“Their decision has now cleared the way for a disposal of this important site which, I hope, will be acquired for some form of residential development. Let’s now agree priority sites and get on with building again.”

However opposition councillor Judy Terry was disappointed at the news: “It is very disappointing that we continue to see no progress on this important, landmark, site on one of the principal routes into Ipswich.

“The original proposal was to bring 900 jobs to the town, and the revised plans could have been the trigger to unlock other development in the vicinity, including the derelict sites on the Waterfront, and the Archant site, refreshing the whole area and increasing employment opportunities.”

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