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New park and ride proposed for Ipswich

PUBLISHED: 21:33 14 December 2001 | UPDATED: 11:02 03 March 2010

A NEW Park and Ride centre for the East of Ipswich could be built as part of the deal which will see a new B & Q warehouse open at Ransome's Europark.

Ipswich councillors are set to give the go-ahead for the new superstore when their development control committee meets next week.

A NEW Park and Ride centre for the East of Ipswich could be built as part of the deal which will see a new B & Q warehouse open at Ransome's Europark.

Ipswich councillors are set to give the go-ahead for the new superstore when their development control committee meets next week.

It will create between 200 and 250 new jobs when it is built on land beside the existing Havens Retail Park at Ransome's Europark – but work is not expected to start for another year.

Much of the land is currently unoccupied, but two industrial units are in use and the redevelopment cannot start until they are relocated.

Ipswich Council's head of development control, Mike Smith, said the DIY giant had agreed to make a contribution towards a park and ride centre near the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel.

"They have agreed to pay for road improvements in the area, both on the highway itself and with other work associated with it – like a park and ride centre," said Mr Smith.

A park and ride centre at the junction of Nacton Road with the A14 has been included in the long-term plans for a series of sites around the town for many years.

However it was always planned to be the last of four centres, to be developed after a site at Martlesham.

This windfall – coupled with the problems Suffolk County Council has had identifying and finding finance for a site in the Martlesham area – could push this site up the agenda.

A spokeswoman for B & Q said the new superstore would probably open during 2003.

It would be similar in scale to the store's warehouse at Bury Road, opposite Asda, which opened in the spring.

The future of the company's store in Commercial Road had not been decided, she added.

"Usually when a new warehouse has opened, the existing store in the town has closed and staff have relocated.

"That didn't happen in Ipswich, although our store in Colchester did close when our warehouse opened there," she said.

"We haven't made any decision on the future of the central Ipswich store yet, but whatever happens the jobs will be safe because they would transfer to our new store.

"That will employ between 200 and 250 staff, and we actively look to recruit people who are over 50 years old because we find they are reliable and know what they're talking about to customers," she said.


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