The Range, Dunelm and Go Outdoors set to be open in Anglia Retail Park by summer
- Credit: Gregg Brown
Work to give Ipswich’s Anglia Retail Park a major boost should well under way by the middle of the year provided there are no problems with planning details.
The Range and Dunelm are due to move to the park from the Suffolk Retail Park on London Road and Go Outdoors is set to open its first Ipswich store there.
They will join the new Bounce trampoline centre that is due to open in part of the former B&Q store at the site at Easter.
The owners of the retail park had to get planning restrictions, aimed at ensuring only bulky goods are sold from an out-of-town site, relaxed before the stores could be formally signed up to the site.
That was agreed last week, and now agents for The Range have formally applied for planning permission to build an extension and outdoor garden centre at the site.
If approved that would allow the new store to have fractionally under 5,500 square metres of internal floorspace – of which 4,700 will be the sales floor.
That would make the new store one of the largest of the company’s 130 stores. It would bring about 100 new employees to the Anglia Retail Park – although most would transfer from its existing store at the Suffolk Retail Park near Yarmouth Road.
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Agents for the owners of the retail park are expecting work for the three new retail stores to start soon to allow them to be trading by the summer.
The Range did not want to comment on the application, but in a statement sent on its behalf to the borough council it was said that the company needed a large store to improve its financial results.
The report says: “In order for The Range to stock their full product offer a store of some 5,600 square metres gross is required.
“Therefore, their smallest store of 3,250 square metres gross has a significantly truncated offer where whole product ranges are not sold. As a result, the store barely breaks even.”
The company’s proposed move has been widely welcomed by potential customers from across the area who have indicated that they are fed up with having to queue for a long time to get out of Suffolk Retail Park.
Although there have been improvements to the junction recently, it remains a congestion blackspot that continues to be shunned by many shoppers.