Lidl buys land at Futura Park to move Ipswich Ravenswood store
- Credit: Charlotte Bond
Budget supermarket group Lidl is understood to be buying land on Futura Park in east Ipswich to build a new, larger, store to replace its neighbourhood supermarket on the Ravenswood retail area.
It first emerged that the German-owned firm was hoping to move across to the other side of Nacton Road from its current store earlier this year when it applied to Ipswich council for a licence to sell alcoholic drinks at what is currently vacant land.
At the time the company was not making any comment on the drinks application – but we now understand the land purchase is going through and talks are expected to be held with planning officials from Ipswich council which are expected to lead to a planning application.
The company still has not commented on its plans – but they are not expected to retain the current store on the Ravenswood shopping centre once the new larger unit is built. The two sites are on opposite sides of Nacton Road and can easily be seen from each other.
As well as being much smaller than most other Lidl stores, the Ravenswood site is also quite difficult to reach for shoppers who do not live on the development itself.
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Futura Park has much better access for cars and the store would only be a short walk from the Waitrose/John Lewis At Home store which is the big attraction for Futura Park.
Being on the opposite side of Nacton Road, it would be no further for most residents of Ravenswood to walk to than the current store.
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Local councillors have given general approval to the ideal of Lidl crossing the road. Priory Heath councillor Sarah Barber said: “It would bring in a new use for some currently vacant ground and I’m sure many people would like to have a larger store in the area.”
It is believed that the site would be seen as more attractive for a wider catchment of shoppers who might be tempted to buy groceries at both Lidl and Waitrose without having to move their car.
A spokesman for the company was unable to give any full details but confirmed they were looking to increase their presence in the area. He said: “Lidl are very keen to expand their offering in Ipswich and we look forward to sharing more information with the local community in due course.”