Industrial site to be transformed into new council depot

Gipping House

Ipswich Council is to move out of Gipping House on the Hadleigh Road Industrial Estate. - Credit: Google

A former industrial site near Sainsbury's in Hadleigh Road is to be transformed into a new council depot - costing millions of pounds.

Ipswich Borough Council is to replace Gipping House, on the Hadleigh Road Industrial Estate, by redeveloping the former Lebronze site nearby by the end of 2023.

It will create a new base for its fleet of vehicles and other machinery.

The authority sold Gipping House in 2012 and has been renting back the site while looking for new premises.

The offices are seen as too large, while the depot is an awkward space for large vehicles like refuse trucks to manoeuvre in.

The borough is spending £5.5million to buy, clear, and design a new layout for the new site, which has been derelict for years. However, the cost of constructing the new depot will be on top of that.

David Ellesmere Ipswich Council Leader

David Ellesmere may soon be putting on his hard hat again to see the Manganese Bronze site being cleared. - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Council leader David Ellesmere said: "Gipping House no longer really serves our needs. We sold the site in 2012 and really we've been looking for somewhere new ever since."

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The council would no longer have to pay rent and it can borrow the money for its investment at a very low interest rate from the Public Service Loans Board.

The details of the new depot are contained in the borough's budget for 2021/2, which is due to be discussed by councillors at next week's executive meeting of the borough.

Mr Ellesmere will propose a 2% council tax rise, putting the borough's element of a Band B property up by about £5.70 a year - or 11p a week.

He said the council should not need to make further major cuts, because it had already made significant savings twice in emergency budgets last year.

Those savings had been necessary, he said, because it looked as if the government was only going to support the council with £10m of the £16m in lost income it had received because of the Covid pandemic.

  • An earlier version of this story wrongly said the depot would be developed at the former Manganese Bronze site which is on another location in Hadleigh Road. The council is not redeveloping that site.