New Ipswich multi-storey car park should open Christmas 2016

Crown car park was demolished in 2009 - now it could be rebuilt next year.

Crown car park was demolished in 2009 - now it could be rebuilt next year. - Credit: Archant

A new multi-storey car park should be open at Crown Street in Ipswich in time for the Christmas shopping season next year.

Work could take most of next year, but the borough council which owns the site is keen to ensure it is open by the time people are thinking about their Christmas shopping.

The news was welcomed by the town’s business community, with Paul Clement of Ipswich Central saying the issue of car parking was essential for the town. And he welcomed the debate on parking that had been launched by the town’s Conservatives in the wake of the Ipswich Star survey on the town.

Ipswich council leader David Ellesmere revealed that money to rebuild the multi-storey car park – which had to be demolished over safety concerns in 2009 – had been allocated in next year’s borough council budget.

The council is definitely preparing to build one extra floor which would double the Crown’s 200-car capacity, and could extend this upwards if there is the demand from the town’s business community.

Mr Ellesmere said: “We will have to get the results in before we decide what we are going to do, and that won’t be decided until later in the year.

“We aren’t going to close the car park over the Christmas period, so we would hope to start work there early next year and for it to be finished well before the following Christmas.”

He said the financial projections assumed car parking charges would remain at their current level, which are some of the cheapest in town.

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Mr Clement said: “The political debate on the issue of car parking in Ipswich is a healthy one.

“In our recent letter to the Ipswich Star we highlighted that the priority is to replace the Crown Car Park and we support this initiative. However this is only part of the solution.”