New warehouse for Sproughton sugar beet site despite local anger

PUBLISHED: 15:39 04 April 2018

The silos from the old sugar beet factory were demolished over Christmas. Picture: NICOLE DRURY, IBC

The silos from the old sugar beet factory were demolished over Christmas. Picture: NICOLE DRURY, IBC

Ipswich Borough Council

Work on a £40m distribution warehouse on the edge of Ipswich is set to start in June after the controversial application was approved by Babergh planners.

There is major anger among local residents because of the size of the building – it would be too large to fit under the Orwell Bridge – and fears that it would put a great deal more traffic on to local roads.

The new warehouse on the new Sproughton Enterprise Park – the site of the former sugar beet factory – will be the first major development on the site since it was bought by Ipswich council for redevelopment three years ago.

The warehouse will be built for LDH (La Doria) Ltd – a major food company that sells and distributes a range of foods to supermarkets. Its brands include Cook Italia, Mrs Ball’s chutney, Glenryck tinned fish, and Bonduelle tinned vegetables.

Babergh’s planning committee approved the application despite opposition from Sproughton and Pinewood parish councils.

Peter Powell from Sproughton parish council said the building was so large – it will be 41m high – that it would dominate the skyline and be far more intrusive than the old sugar silos that were demolished at Christmas.

He said: “It is so large you could not fit it under the main span of the Orwell Bridge – it’s not just the height that we object to, it’s the bulk. It will be far worse than the silos.”

Mike Best, the planning consultant for LDH (La Doria) said the company needed to move from its current premises at Felixstowe and other sites by 2020. If planning permission was granted it planned to start work in June once details had been finalised.

The warehouse would employ 125 people in the first instance – all transferring from other locations – but would be expected to expand in the future.

Liberal Democrat councillor Dave Busby said the proposal would not be good for the area: “This is just the kind of thing we don’t need – a huge building, more traffic on the roads, but no new jobs at the site.”

But fellow committee member Stephen Plumb said: “I’m sure most people in Sproughton don’t want to live next to a wasteground that has been empty for years.”

The business park is an Enterprise Zone and planners also approved proposals to build new infrastructure to support businesses moving in.

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