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New plans for empty shop in Ipswich town centre revealed

PUBLISHED: 06:00 12 January 2020 | UPDATED: 10:29 14 January 2020

The shop in St Peters Street has stood empty for more than a year - but could be set to become a tea room Picture: ADAM GRAY

The shop in St Peters Street has stood empty for more than a year - but could be set to become a tea room Picture: ADAM GRAY

Archant

One of Ipswich's empty shops could become a 1940s-themed cafe under new planning proposals.

The Grade-II listed building in St Peter's Street, between Seven Group and the old Rovian Sports and Leisure shop, has stood empty for more than a year after the previous shop in the premises, independent womenswear shop, Marianna, moved out.

The application was made just before Christmas, with homes from the applicant, Adam Gray, that it will become a tearoom with a wartime theme.

If the plans are approved the cafe will be serving hot and cold food including pies, sausage rolls, tea, coffee and cold drinks.

In a design and access statement submitted to Ipswich Borough Council, Mr Gray said: "We believe 33A St Peters Street, which has been vacant for over a year, will be brought back to life by the tea rooms.

"This sort of business compliments the building perfectly and will enhance its historical features and presence in the town."

St Peter's Street is renowned for its independent businesses.

The Saints Street market regularly takes place, with some shop owners bringing their wares onto the street and other visiting stallholders joining them for the day.

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Mr Gray has no plans that he believes will impact period features of the building, with small changes required to install the appropriate kitchen fittings and making the ground floor as accessible as possible for wheelchair users.

"There are no steps into the first room of the property but access to the second room is via two steps leading up into the second room," continued Mr Gray.

"We propose to install handrails into this area to allow those with mobility issues safe passage into this area and to allow them to use the toilet facilities.

"We believe the integrity of the building will not be compromised by our development as the majority of any changes are cosmetic.

"They will not affect the original character of the internal features - if anything it should enhance

them."

These plans follows more good news for Ipswich independents, with the Earl Kitchener community pub in Hadleigh Road saved from closure.

The popular La Tour cycle cafe, which closed in March 2019, may also be reborn as a community space on the waterfront and those in charge have promised to return to the town with "renewed vigour".

The application is open for public consultation until January 27. No comments have been made so far.

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