173 new homes planned for Ipswich's Grafton Way

The River Orwell and the development side beside it

Plutus Estates hopes to get planning permission to develop this vacant land beside the River Orwell. - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Proposals to build 173 new homes on land between the River Orwell and Cardinal Park could get the green light from Ipswich council planners next week.

There have been several proposals to develop the land that was previously occupied by a B&Q warehouse and is currently home to the Ipswich Junkyard Market.

Previous plans have included an ambitious scheme to build a new Tesco superstore and hotel on the site.

Architect's impression of the Plutus Estate homes

An early proposal for new homes at the site from Plutus Estates in 2017 - Credit: Plutus Estates

But three years ago, Plutus Estates outlined plans for a low-intensity development of town houses and small commercial units on the site - and showed them at a public exhibition.

After getting feedback from visitors, further work was done on the proposal - leading to the current scheme being submitted to planners.

That is to be discussed by members of the borough's planning and development committee on Wednesday - with a recommendation from officers that it should be approved with certain conditions.

Temporary car park off Grafton Way

Part of the site is a temporary car park. - Credit: Charlotte Bond

The proposal also includes a new cycle path beside the River Orwell, from Princes Street to Stoke Bridge - and landscaping to help create a new linear park beside the river.

The area was previously a rail freight yard and part of it is used as a temporary car park.

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There is a footpath beside the river - but it is comparatively lightly-used and the new path will be much more open and attractive to both cyclists and walkers.

The land was bought by Spenhill - the development arm of Tesco - which had originally planned to build a huge new superstore, hotel and high-density flats on the site.

This eventually got planning permission in early 2011, despite major concerns about the development's possible impact on town centre shops - but it soon fell victim to the economic recession and Tesco announced it would not be going ahead with the proposals.

The Plutus scheme has been generally welcomed. The homes are expected to be popular with many people because they are so near the railway station, the town centre and the Waterfront - making them very attractive for active families who want to live within walking distance of those facilities.

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