Sale of NCP adds to uncertainty

MORE uncertainty today hangs over the proposed Mint Quarter development as a "for sale" notice hangs over the owner of the site.A meeting between developers, landowners and council planners scheduled for this week was called off.

By Paul Geater

MORE uncertainty today hangs over the proposed Mint Quarter development as a "for sale" notice hangs over the owner of the site.

A meeting between developers, landowners and council planners scheduled for this week was called off.

Officials from NCP, which owns the land, insist this was merely postponed until further details on the scheme are drawn up.


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But there is growing concern within the Ipswich business community that there is no sign of work starting on the scheme which is designed to breathe new life into part of the town centre.

It is due to have new stores for Woolworths and Argos, and to be a new permanent home for Ipswich market.

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But starting dates for the work have been regularly delayed - it was first proposed as the Cloisters development a decade ago.

Helical Retail is NCP's partner who would build the development.

The latest delay comes as NCP has been put up for sale by its American owner Cendant Corporation.

Originally Cendant was looking for about £800 million for the company - but now its price is believed to have gone up to £1 billion and major investment like the £70 million Mint Quarter has been put on the back burner.

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