Seven-up as hotel boom continues

HUNDREDS of millions of pounds are set to be spent on providing rooms for business people and visitors to a Suffolk town, with up to seven hotels now planned.

HUNDREDS of millions of pounds are set to be spent on providing rooms for business people and visitors to a Suffolk town, with up to seven hotels now planned.

Developers Waterfront Regeneration has already been granted planning permission for one of the proposed developments, an 81-room hotel on the former Cranfield Mill site on Ipswich Waterfront.

A further five applications will go before town planners for approval this month.

Of the hotels set to go before Ipswich Borough Council's planning committee one is a revised version of the three-hotel development put forward by developer Braceforce for the St Peter's Port site, while others involve two other hotels on the south side of the River Orwell in the town centre.

Paul Clement, of Ipswich Central, said the town was in desperate need of new hotels to cope with the demand of business people visiting the town.

He said: “Hotels in the town are at capacity and this is about meeting the current need.

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“More hotel space in the town will attract businesses because firms will know they are moving to a place where people can stay overnight.

“It also makes Ipswich more of a destination with people staying for a number of nights.”

One of the hotels, on the St Peter's Port site, is set to boost the town's luxury tourism industry.

Currently the four-star Salthouse Harbour Hotel, built in 2003 on the Waterfront, is the only luxury hotel in the town centre. But this is now set to be joined by a 58-room New York-style “boutique hotel”, with each room individually designed by a world-class interior designer.

Sales and marketing director at Braceforce, John Di Carlo, said Ipswich was set to benefit from the wave of new hotels.

He said: “We have absolutely no doubt that St Peter's Port will support and boost the changing face of Ipswich life in business and in leisure.”

The locations of the proposed hotels would be: three at the former Burton's site between Star Lane and College Street; a 127-bed Ramada Encore hotel planned for Ranelagh Road; a 111-bed hotel on Hayes Road; the already approved 81-room hotel as part of The Mill scheme at the former Cranfield Mill site and a development to include a hotel on Portman Road, where talks are currently in progress between Ipswich Borough Council and Turnstone Estates.