Warm response given to major development

A PROPOSED multi-million pound regeneration project in Ipswich town centre has received initial positive feedback, it emerged today.

A PROPOSED multi-million pound regeneration project in Ipswich town centre has received initial positive feedback, it emerged today.

The start of a public consultation over the redevelopment of the former B&Q store in Grafton Way began yesterday with an exhibition showing the plans.

Members of the public were also invited to look at the display at the Players' Lounge at Ipswich Town Football Club until 4pm today.

Among the ambitious plans for the site, which have been devised by Spenhill Regeneration, a subsidiary of Tesco, are a Tesco superstore, two hotels, 675 short-stay shopper car parking spaces, sporting and leisure facilities, a mixture of restaurants and smaller shops along the riverfront and new apartments overlooking the river.

There was a good response about the plans from councillors and residents, including a couple who had moved to the waterfront area from London five years ago and felt there was a lack of food stores within walking distance.

Nick Gellatly, regional communication affairs manager for Tesco, said: “This development is about improving the vitality and vibrancy of the area so we can build on the work already being done along the Waterfront.

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“A development like this means it is easy to do food shopping and walk home.

“What we want is something that complements the rest of the town. It is an opportunity to link up that part of Ipswich and bring a lot of investment to the town.”

One of the issues being looked at is flood defences due to the proximity to the river and the firm has said it will work with the Environment Agency and the council's emergency planning department to ensure the development meets the requirements stated.

After the public consultation, the scheme will then be redrafted and a planning application will be submitted next Spring or early Summer. If everything is approved, it may be 2011 or 2012 before work on the development begins.

The site was closed in September 2006 and has remained vacant since then. Spenhill bought the site earlier this year.

What do you think of the proposals for this site? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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