A14 truckstop to close to make way for project creating 1,500 jobs
- Credit: Equation Properties
Businesses at a popular A14 roadside lorry and restaurant stop have been served with eviction notices to make way for a £60million redevelopment.
Leaseholders at the Orwell Truckstop at Orwell Crossing at Nacton have been told they must vacate the site by mid-September.
Developers are planning to start work this autumn in turning the site into the 60-acre Orwell Logistics Park with a pledge to create 1,500 new jobs.
But the leaseholders say they have invested heavily in their businesses and had believed they were there for the long-term with the new development set to be built around them.
Truckstop operator Trevor Parish, who has run the Suffolk DIner for the past five years, said he had been served an eviction notice saying he must close by September 16 and is now taking legal advice.
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He said: "I have put an absolute fortune into my business in the past two years - I spent £25,000 during lockdown to carry out work and put in new equipment.
"It's ridiculous - we have not been given proper reasons why we should have to go. It's mine and my staff's livelihoods at stake."
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He said other businesses on the land had also received notices.
"This is the only lorry park between Bury St Edmunds and Felixstowe - where will they go now?"
BentallGreenOak and its development partner Equation Properties say the Orwell Logistics Park will be a "world-class" scheme and bring a big boost to the area's economy, particularly needed as it recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic.
A spokesperson for Equation Properties said: “Orwell Logistics Park received outline planning consent in April 2018 and included substantial infrastructure upgrades, including to local highways and utilities. Equation Properties will require access to the truck stop site to enable us to start to deliver these infrastructure upgrades.
“The existing on-site operators are aware of the outline planning consent and the need for Equation Properties to secure vacant possession of the truck stop site.
"Equation Properties served notice to the existing on-site operators in accordance with the relevant contractual provisions, which were agreed by the relevant parties.
“Equation Properties will continue to work with the local planning authority to bring forward its detailed proposals for Orwell Logistics Park, which will secure £60million investment into the local economy and create 1,500 new jobs.”
Plans for the site envisaged four large buildings - ranging from 500,000 sq ft to 88,000 sq ft. However, "based on an assessment of current market conditions and discussions with prospective occupiers", the developers have amended the plans - reducing the number of units to three and increasing the overall floor space.