Ipswich: Plans for coffee shop rejected by borough council

Shop to Let in Tacket Street, Ipswich

Shop to Let in Tacket Street, Ipswich - Credit: Archant

The borough has come under fire for trying to prevent another coffee shop from opening in Ipswich.

Part of the former Cash Converters store in Tacket Street has been empty for about two years and its owner – WWA Properties – was hoping to lease it to a cafe owner.

However when it applied for planning permission, it was refused because council officers said there were already enough cafes in the area.

Chris Wakefield, from WWA Properties, said: “To our surprise, our application was refused by the planning officers without reference to the planning committee.

“This action took place in spite of long-standing Government initiatives to bring vacant town centre properties back into use as part of its reform of the planning system and to secure much-needed economic growth.

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“The council’s policies of retaining shop use in the town centre are all well and good. However, it must acknowledge that the role of our town centres is rapidly changing as a result of internet shopping and out-of-town shopping developments.

“It appears that all but Ipswich Borough Council acknowledge this fact.”

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The company has launched an appeal against the decision to refuse planning permission.

Paul Clement from Ipswich Central said: “While I do not know the exact details of this case, it would appear to be another example of this country’s out-of-date planning guidelines rather than any fault of our own council. They have rules to follow, but that doesn’t mean that the rules are right.”

A spokesman for the borough said that because there was an appeal pending, it would be inappropriate to make any comment.

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