Work starts on new car park behind Ipswich's former Carr Street Co-op
PUBLISHED: 05:30 16 August 2019 | UPDATED: 07:38 16 August 2019
Work to create a new car park behind the former Co-op department store in Carr Street in Ipswich is now well under way - and it should be open in time for this year's Christmas season.
The former Co-op garden centre, which was later used as a mobility centre, has been demolished and the land is being levelled before a new car park can be created.
The new car park will be run and owned by the borough council and it will provide an extra 59 spaces which are accessed through the existing car park at Upper Barclay Street.
The plan is to use the site as a car park for the foreseeable future - it is not part of the basic department store site which is due to be converted into a new Free School for primary-age pupils.
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The borough, which owns that site, is still waiting for the go-ahead for the new school from the government's Department For Education before conversion work on that can start.
Meanwhile, work is forging ahead on the neighbouring former Co-op HQ, which will be known as Carr House.
The HQ and the Victorian buildings behind it are being converted into 34 apartments by developer Joe Fogel.
The ground floor space will remain in commercial use with new homes being created on the floors above.
The Carr House building, and the department store on the opposite side of Cox Lane, had been used by the Co-op, latterly the East of England Co-op, until it sold off its department stores in 2009.
The Ipswich store was one of those sold to new owners, but it eventually ceased trading.