Hotel and new shop planned for Ipswich retail park

Russell Road retail park

The Russell Road retail park is to get a new look - but has been empty for nearly 18 months. - Credit: Archant

The Russell Road retail park between Ipswich railway station and the town centre is to have a new look, probably a new Travelodge hotel, and possibly a new small shop.

The owners of the currently-empty retail park have already received permission from Ipswich Council for a new glazed fascia for the existing building which it is planned to split into five units.

It has been empty since Better Gym closed early last year - following the collapse of the Office Outlet stationery shop chain in 2019.

Conditions of what can be sold on the site have been relaxed - and now officers at the borough council have approved changes to the glazing at the front of the stores there.

An application for the the five-storey 60-room Travelodge to be built on part of the car park at the side of the retail park is due to be discussed by the borough's planning development committee next week.

Officers are recommending approval because it would be in line with the local plan for that part of Ipswich.

The owners of the site have now also put in an application for the construction of a comparatively small extension at the Princes Street end of the park, on the side of the wall near the Russell Road junction.

It is described in the application as a retail site, but it is small and only about half the height of the existing building. It is near the area of the retail park where a coffee van parked for nearby workers during pre-pandemic days.

This application has only just been lodged with the borough, and it is expected to be discussed by planners later in the year.

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There are no indications of which retailers are interested in moving into the five medium-sized units or who might take on the small unit that could be built on the side.

But the return of office workers to an increasing number of businesses nearby could make retail and food stores look at the area as a possible site for potential customers.

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