Retail park set to face an uncertain future post B&Q

Dan Poulter with employees at B&Q

Dan Poulter with employees at B&Q - Credit: Archant

The proposed closure of the B&Q superstore on the edge of Ipswich will lift a huge question mark over the future of one of the town’s largest retail parks.

Anglia Parkway was opened in 2002 as part of the development which saw the creation of the Bury Road Park and Ride site – the second in the town.

The B&Q store is by far the largest unit at the site – and has already undergone one change of identity. It was originally a Homebase store.

When it closes, there will be only three retail units left on the site – M&P, Dreams and Carpetright. The Comet electrical store closed at the end of 2012 after the company went into administration.

There are two fast-food restaurants, a coffee shop and a mobile phone store elsewhere on the site.

Local MP Dr Dan Poulter said he would like to see the area remain a retail park: “I think it is quite well placed with potential customers also living in communities just outside Ipswich,” he said.

However he accepted it might eventually be necessary to consider other uses for the site: “I know the borough owns some land behind it and it might eventually be considered for residential use.”

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Ipswich Central chief executive Paul Clement said he hoped the closure of B&Q would not prompt the borough council to re-think its strategy of only allowing new retailers in the town centre unless in exceptional circumstances.

He said: “I know the borough has to look at what permissions are coming from other authorities – but it is vital to protect the town centre if at all possible.”