Business park ‘set to bring major jobs boost’
- Credit: Archant
More than 600 jobs could be created if a major £72m business park planned for the outskirts of Ipswich gets the go-ahead.
A planning application is being submitted to Mid Suffolk District Council today for 750,000sq ft of high specification warehousing, office and business space at Great Blakenham, which developers believe is unrivalled by anything else available in Norfolk, Suffolk and north Essex.
Developer Curzon De Vere, which hopes to get the green light for the project within 13 weeks, says 70% of the space, which would operate 24 hours a day, has already been snapped up by prospective businesses or had expressions of interest.
If the planning hurdles are cleared, work could start on the development, earmarked for a site opposite to the county’s new waste incinerator off the A14, early in 2017 and should be completed by 2019. Despite being home to a major container port at Felixstowe, Suffolk’s business community has long argued that warehousing space is in short supply in the county.
Curzon says it has already received an “unprecedented” level of enquiries from national and international businesses from as far away as China and mainland Europe, and businesses involved in IT programming, fashion sales, logistics, management, warehousing, transport, marketing, telesales, design and packaging, maintenance, finance and accounting had earmarked space.
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Larry Isherwood, director of Great Blakenham-based Curzon De Vere, said: “We are very excited to be submitting the plans for the park and we look forward to the decision from Mid Suffolk District Council.”
Nick Davey, a partner at the JTS Partnership LLP, the planning consultant for the build, said: “This exciting ground-breaking development will give the local economy a major boost and help Mid-Suffolk meet its commitment to find land for an additional 8000 jobs by 2026.
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“Because of its unique position it will attract both local and international businesses and will provide jobs for local people and reduce levels of out-commuting from the district. As a result of the thorough approach that has been taken to all aspects of the scheme, this will be a very sustainable development which successfully addresses every planning and environmental issue.
“In particular, the access arrangements have been designed so as to ensure that HGV traffic can only enter and leave the site by the A14 trunk road. A detailed traffic analysis has demonstrated that the adjacent junctions have sufficient capacity to accommodate the additional movements and, most importantly, the scheme will not lead to any additional lorries using the roads in surrounding villages.”
Roger Gilles, director of Ipswich-based Barefoot and Gilles Architects, led the design of the scheme.
“We are delighted to be part of such a landmark development. The park will make a major contribution to the local economy and has been planned with not only the needs of business in mind but also those of the local community and ecology,” he said.
“This is exactly what Suffolk needs for the 21st century.”
The buildings will be set in a landscaped environment with five lakes and cycle routes with more than 3,500 trees planted.
It is expected an additional 300 jobs will be created over the construction period.
Chris Moody, of Savills in Ipswich and commercial agent for the park said St James would be the first of a number of sites under discussion along the A14 to be delivered.
“The plan features a very high specification of buildings, something not seen anywhere else in this area. This is the next generation in logistics/business space and a game changer in the regional market.”