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Mixed feelings over Mint Quarter

PUBLISHED: 22:30 13 June 2005 | UPDATED: 05:56 02 March 2010

NEWS that developers will move in and transform one of Ipswich town centre's run-down streets has received mixed views from the shop owners.

Many of those who have shops in Upper Orwell Street feel it is the light at the end of a very long tunnel and hope it will bring shoppers back into the once lively area.

NEWS that developers will move in and transform one of Ipswich town centre's run-down streets has received mixed views from the shop owners.

Many of those who have shops in Upper Orwell Street feel it is the light at the end of a very long tunnel and hope it will bring shoppers back into the once lively area.

But others who run shops owned by NCP or Ipswich Borough Council are worried it will spell bad news for their businesses.

NCP has announced that is has signed developers Shearer Properties Ltd to carry out a £200million development on the area between Upper Brook Street and Upper Orwell Street.

The development will include a large shopping centre and car park.

Adam Charles, of Ipswich Record and Tape Exchange, is one of those who shop is owned by NCP.

He said: "If the development actually does go ahead it will be bad news for me.

"The company will almost definitely want to demolish my premises for the new development which will leave me out on the street.

"In all the previous plans for developments they have wanted to tear me down.

"But this is the fourth time they have announced this news in the last 15 years so I will not believe it until it is further down the line."

Sandra Santos, manager of Scalabis café, said: "We are owned by the council and they informed us when we took the lease on that it would be torn down to make way for the new development when it takes place.

"We will have to move but I do not think it will matter too much as we are a Portuguese café and I think our customers will travel to any new premises we take on."

Further along the street, those who actually own their properties were breathing a sigh of relief at the news that the tatty street will finally be brought up to date.

Tim Pitt, owner of Wasp, said: "It is about time.

"We have been saying for ages that this street needs some attention and hopefully we will now get it.

"I am still apprehensive about whether it will happen but fingers crossed this is the start of a very good thing."

Gianni Falcucci, of Francos and Reds hairdressers in the street, had refused to pay his business rates until the street was tidied up.

He has now paid them after the threat of legal action but says even with the news that a development is finally due to happen, he is getting fed up of the street.

He said: "We will have to wait another five years until the new development is up and running and why should we have to wait that long when talks of the development have been going on for almost 20 years.

"If they can promise the street will be sorted out and money ploughed into it then maybe I will stay but other wise I may start to look to leave."


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