Ipswich: Christmas 2013 wish for Tesco store in Grafton Way

IPSWICH: The new Tesco supermarket to be built on Grafton Way should be open by Christmas next year if planning permission is granted later this year.

The retail giant has submitted a new proposal which would see a foodstore built rather than a superstore – and proposals for flats have been scaled down to become a number of town houses.

Councillors are expected to approve the new plans when they are considered by the borough’s planning and development committee in the autumn.

They were concerned about the scale of the previous development – but the new proposal is not seen as a great threat to the traditional shopping centre.

If permission is granted, Tesco expects to start construction work on the first phase of the project in the early summer – allowing the foodstore to be open by Christmas.

The second phase will start shortly after the first, allowing much of that to be completed by the end of next year as well.

That will see 17 town houses built, along with a hotel and a number of small shop units.

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The third phase of the development – with a second hotel – is expected to follow within the next three years.

It is understood that hotel groups have already been signed up – but their identity will not be revealed until nearer their opening.