Ipswich: Chief urges planners to back shops proposals

Western House in Ipswich

Western House in Ipswich - Credit: Archant

Borough leader David Ellesmere is to urge his colleagues to over-rule officers and approve a proposal to develop five shops underneath and empty office block.

The owner of Western House at the entrance to the Hadleigh Road has applied for planning permission to create five shops on the ground floor.

At present the area is used as a car park – a new car parking area would be created behind the building which would see the number of spaces increase.

Larry Isherwood represents the owners of the building and said when they first spoke to planning officials about the proposals at the end of last year, they thought there would be no problem.

“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,” he said.

It is due to be discussed by the borough’s planning and development committee with a recommendation that it should be refused because it is in an area designated for “employment space.”

However Mr Ellesmere, who is one of the local councillors for the area, said he would be telling the committee that he backed the proposal.

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He said: “The offices are not occupied and this will enable the building to be improved – it is not as if employment space is being lost because at present it is only used as a car park.

“I can see why the planners made their recommendation, but I think on this occasion the application should be allowed.”

Should the shops be built? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail starletters@archant.co.uk