Work restarts on new Asda

WORK has resumed in the Stoke Park area of Ipswich on the controversial Asda development originally scheduled for completion more than a year ago.

WORK has resumed in the Stoke Park area of Ipswich on the controversial Asda development originally scheduled for completion more than a year ago.

The supermarket giant withdrew from Stoke Park Drive in May 2007, when its residential partner pulled out of the scheme, meaning people living in the area were confronted by an empty building site.

No developers came forward and Asda was unable to build the residential units which came as a condition of planning permission for the commercial side of the development. But the company announced in October it had completed procurement procedures and appointed contractors to recommence construction, with the new supermarket expected to be open for business by autumn this year.

After two years of speculation and pressure from local residents and Ipswich Borough Council, work started again yesterday on the store which will boast a 2,500 square metre sales area and 229 space car park.

When complete, the store will provide the full Asda food and non-food range - including George clothing - and create 300 full and part time jobs.

Richard Kirby, Sprites ward councillor and head of the local residents' association, spoke on behalf of people living in the area. He said: “I'm very pleased, after quite a long period of disappointment on Asda's part, that the company is really showing a will to complete the project.”

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Tom McGarry, property communications manager at Asda, said: “We are delighted to be back on site and look forward to completing the new store by autumn.

“We and our colleagues building the store will work to keep disruption to a minimum for local residents over the months ahead. We have worked closely with local councillors, the MP and other community representatives up to this stage and will continue to do so.

“Local people will be able to see the store take shape over the months ahead. This development will create 300 jobs for local people and we look forward to becoming a part of the community in Stoke Park.”

Are you happy to see the builders back on 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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