1,000 jobs hi-tech park bonanza

EXCLUSIVEBy Mark HeathA HUGE state-of-the-art technology park that could create up to 1,000 new jobs is being planned for Suffolk.The £100million hi-tech development, called St James' Technology Park, will be created on land in Great Blakenham, near Stowmarket.

EXCLUSIVE

By Mark Heath

A HUGE state-of-the-art technology park that could create up to 1,000 new jobs is being planned for Suffolk.

The £100million hi-tech development, called St James' Technology Park, will be created on land in Great Blakenham, near Stowmarket.

Property developers the Braceforce Group will officially unveil the plan at a press briefing in the village on April 28.

But in a statement released yesterday, the group said the project would bring “between 700 and 1,000 high net worth jobs to the area”.

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Covering more than 500,000 square feet, the site will also be extensively landscaped, including “significant new tree planting”

A spokesman for Braceforce Group said the technology park would be about half-a-mile from the A14 at Great Blakenham, but would not be part of the proposed SnOasis winter sports complex, also planned for the village.

A planning application for the huge development was registered with Mid Suffolk District Council about three weeks ago.

The spokesman added: “What we're looking at is very high-quality architecture. It will be very environmentally and ecologically friendly.”

Leslie Short, of planning consultants Peecock Short, said the technology park would be built on land called Blackacre Hill if the plan got the go-ahead.

He added: “The layout of the park is about 36 acres of land in total and of the floor space that's proposed about 300,000 square feet is what we call B1 floorspace. That means offices, research and development, that sort of thing.

“The other 200,000 square feet is B8 use, which is warehouse, logistics and distribution.

“An outline application for the use of the land, together with roads, services, ancillary works and strategic landscape has been submitted.”

Mr Short continued: “It's too early to say how many businesses will be involved, but the company have on their books between 40 and 50 firm inquiries for floor space, which could range in size from 1,500 square feet up to 10,000 square feet.

“It's a major boost to job creation. A lot of those inquiries will come from companies who are not presently represented in the locality, as well as those who are, but are looking to expand.

“It's a very exciting development. It's a major boost to job provision in Mid Suffolk and it's on the fringe of Ipswich, so no doubt it will provide jobs in that area as well.”

Mr Short said there would be extensive consultations with the parish council and other interested groups. “Everyone will have plenty of opportunity to submit their comments on it,” he added.

A spokeswoman for Mid Suffolk District Council confirmed it had received a planning application for the development.

The Braceforce Group is also behind plans for a £75m development on the Ipswich waterfront, which will include three hotels.

The project, at St Peter's Port between College Street and Star Lane, will also include a restaurant, a shopping centre, apartments and an underground car park, if given the green light.

mark.heath@eadt.co.uk

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