Ipswich: Road revamp in store to pave way for new Tesco

A radical overhaul of one of the busiest road junctions in the town is on the cards as part of the proposed new Tesco supermarket at Grafton Way.

The retail giant has submitted a new application for the supermarket, which includes road access to the site.

And part of the plans propose replacing the Novotel and Grafton Way roundabouts between the town centre and Stoke Bridge with a single oval-shaped one-way system for traffic.

This would have more lanes – and vehicles would be controlled by several sets of traffic lights.

The application for the new supermarket has been formally accepted by the borough and is expected to be considered by planners in January or February next year.

The site for the development – which also includes two hotels, 17 town houses, and smaller shops – is already being cleared ready for work to start.

The former B& Q warehouse on the site is being demolished, and Tesco hopes to start developing during the early part of the year if it is granted planning permission.

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An earlier application for an even larger development on the site was approved by Ipswich planners in March 2010, before control of the borough changed.

The new proposal has been seen as less potentially damaging for the town centre than the original plan.

If the application is approved, work on the road network would be expected to start soon afterwards and would be likely to take several months to complete – the work would be taking place at the same time as the Travel Ipswich project is being undertaken on roads around the town.

A spokesman for Tesco has said the company hopes that work could start soon after planning permission is given.

The company would like to get the new store open in time for next Christmas – but is not prepared to give a commitment to a timescale for such a major project.

n Would the new road be good for the town? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail starletters@archant.co.uk

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