Ipswich: Emperor work due to start soon

An architect's impression of the new Tesco Express in Norwich Road.

An architect's impression of the new Tesco Express in Norwich Road. - Credit: Archant

Work to convert the former Emperor pub in Norwich Road into a new Tesco Express store is due to start soon.

The retail giant has submitted its formal designs for the shop front and the advertising to the borough’s planners – but permission to extend the building to create a small supermarket has already been agreed by the borough’s planning and development committee.

The pub closed earlier this year and has been boarded up – the joke pub signs portraying “The Emperor’s New Clothes” has long since been taken down.

The closure followed a long campaign by pub users who were keen to retain their local – but eventually the borough’s committee could not find strong enough reasons to retain it.

An application to reject a similar application for the Golden Key on Woodbridge Road was overturned on appeal and that is currently being converted into a Sainsburys store.

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Tesco is also hoping to convert the Heathlands pub in Foxhall Road, which closed in April, into a small supermarket.

A spokesman for the company said that once the conversion was complete, about 20 people would be employed at the store.

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It will have a small car park and a cashpoint – but at the planning committee the company said it expected most of the customers to live nearby and for many to walk to the store.

The proposed opening date has still not yet been decided, but the work is not expected to take too long to complete.

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