Details of the Gateway 14 development and the conversion of the Crown pub into a convenience store are among items to be discussed at a Stowmarket planning meeting on Wednesday.

 Chaired by Terence Carter, the Town Council Planning and Development Committee will consider four new planning applications, along with one proposal for tree works.

East Anglian Daily Times:

More details about the Gateway 14 business park development will be considered by the planning committee.

The site, which has Freeport status meaning various tax benefits, is already home to a 1.17m sq ft distribution hub for The Range, and there are plans for a £18m Skills and Innovation Centre.

Being built over the next 10 to 15 years, it will be Suffolk’s biggest ever business park, covering the equivalent of 31 football pitches.

East Anglian Daily Times:

The latest plans show building heights, exterior design, the planned cycle store, and landscaping.

But the project is controversial.

One resident, whose land adjoins the Gateway 14 development, said in the public consultation of the latest plans: “I have lived here for approximately 30 years and have ample opportunity to observe, on a day to day basis, the negative impact that the development has had upon my land: most noticeably the increased instances of flooding and increased volume of flood water.”


East Anglian Daily Times:

The conversion of the Crown pub is also planned for the meeting.

Having closed as a pub in November 2020, permission is being sought to convert the venue into a convenience store.

A single parking bay would be created within the site, but it would mainly be street parking for customers.

But not all residents are convinced of the plans.

One wrote: “The plans do not state the hours the shop will be open or what it plans to sell. We have a convenience store just over the railway gates and both Lidl and Aldi are within walking distance.

"I would question whether this type of shop would be successful in this area, The Crown as a Public House failed and we have already lost the Post Office facility as it was not viable. The Premier store has been a target for crime on several occasions in the last few years.”