Ipswich: Borough backs new shops scheme despite concerns

Western House in Ipswich

Western House in Ipswich - Credit: Archant

A proposal to create five new shops under Western House in Hadleigh Road has been approved by the borough – despite a recommendation for refusal from officers.

The owners of the office block want to convert the ground floor into shops and takeaways to allow the rest of the 1970s-built block to be refurbished.

Planners had recommended refusal because the area is not set aside for retail development – they said it should be kept for “employment use.”

But borough leader and ward councillor David Ellesmere backed the proposal, pointing out that the space was only used as a car park – and the development would create up to 40 new jobs.

Developer Larry Isherwood said work to develop a new car park and to turn the space into the shop units – including a Costcutter and a Subway sandwich shop – should start within the next few weeks.

He said: “We certainly hope to have the stores up and running by September.

“The new shops are already pre-let to some major names, like Costcutter and Subway – they will create 40 jobs including 32 full-time posts.

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“They were pre-let and this will be a welcome boost for the area.”

The jobs at the new shops will be advertised at the Ipswich Job Centre in an attempt to ensure that they go to local people who are desperate for work in the area.

n Will these shops be good for the local area? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email starletters@archant.co.uk