New multi-storey car park could be built in Ipswich business district

West End Road car park off West End Road

West End Road car park off West End Road - Credit: Archant

A new car park could be built by Ipswich council in the Princes Street area of the town.

Portman Road Car Park.

Portman Road Car Park. - Credit: Archant

The council’s existing surface car parks in the area are nearing capacity with season ticket holders filling up almost all the available spaces.

Now it is looking at the best place to build a new multi-storey park – it owns a considerable amount of land in the area.

There are two possible sites, both currently in use as surface car parks. One is the West End Road car park beside the former Hollywood night club and the other is on part of the former cattle market site on Portman Road.

Ipswich Council leader David Ellesmere said: “We are reaching the point where the existing car parks in the area are nearing capacity and we feel it would be good to build a new multi-storey park in the Princes Street area.

“There are a lot of new offices there, with the Connections building complete and Birkett’s new building coming along. Not to mention your (Archant Suffolk) new office in Portman House.

“And then there is the improved rail service that we will be seeing in the next few years – that will bring a lot more demand for parking near the station.”

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The council has applied for planning permission to use land beside the West End Road car park as an overspill area for an extra 50 cars or 21 coaches.

A new multi-storey car park would swell the coffers of a council that is facing more tough spending decisions.

The borough is preparing to put up its element of council tax bills by 1.99% – but is still facing having to make cuts of £100,000 in its budget next year and £200,000 and £400,000 in the subsequent two years.

Mr Ellesmere said there was no need to consider any immediate cuts to services, but warned that if the government did increase their demands on local authorities there could be no long-term guarantee that things would not change.

The borough’s increase, added to a similar percentage rise by Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore and the county council’s planned 3% increase to pay for extra social care, would leave council tax payers having to pay about 2.7% more in the town.

That would put the bill for a band B property, the most numerous in the town, up from £1,289 a year to about £1,323 a year.

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