PLANNING PERMISSION GRANTED FOR IPSWICH REGENERATION SCHEME
17 January 2012
Planning consent has been granted for a major regeneration project in Ipswich, which will see the creation of a new purpose built 44 acre business and retail park, including a John Lewis at home and Waitrose store.
The development, which is being undertaken by AquiGen Real Estate Solutions, will see the transformation of a redundant factory site into a vibrant new destination with a mix of retail, office and industrial premises bringing a major inward investment to Ipswich.
With planning permission granted, AquiGen is now looking to attract businesses that require up to 600,000 square feet of new purpose built commercial units. It is expected that this will be through a combination of site sales and design and build agreements.
Under the agreed plans AquiGen will create new estate roads and green spaces, using 25 acres of land for commercial employment uses including office space, industrial units and warehouse/storage facilities (B1, B2 and B8 classified property). The scheme will feature a high quality landscaped environment and also provide associated improvements to the transport infrastructure of the surrounding neighbourhood.
An additional part of the site has been pre-let to the John Lewis Partnership which will see the development of a new combined flagship store comprising a 26,500 square feet Waitrose and a 43,000 square feet John Lewis at home on approximately 8 acres of the land. This will be the first combined John Lewis at home and Waitrose store in the country. A further 66,585 square feet retail unit will be available for non-food bulky goods retailing.
AquiGen managing director, Paul Isaacs, says: “This is an exciting opportunity to revive a large area of land that has been derelict for an extended period and create something that can truly invigorate the surrounding community, by generating both employment and shoppers. We are delighted to have the support of the John Lewis Partnership, the local planning authority and the local community who all endorse the business and retail park and can see the positive impact it will have.”
It is predicted that, when complete, the scheme will boost employment in the area through the creation of c.1,500 jobs, with 300 available through the John Lewis Partnership and the remainder by attracting large businesses to the state-of-the-art office and industrial spaces.
Nigel Keen, Director of Development at Waitrose says: “We are delighted the scheme has gained approval as it will not only provide us with the perfect location from which to serve the people of Ipswich but will also help regenerate a currently disused piece of land.”
“For the first time we’ll be able to offer our customers the convenience of having both a Waitrose and John Lewis at home right next to each other. Ipswich is a great place to be investing in and with the arrival of our little Waitrose in the Corn Exchange on February 1st, and our new stores in Ransomes Way, we are looking forward to making a positive contribution to the town."
Of the project, Ben Gummer MP for Ipswich says: “This is great news for Ipswich. Our town needs a better retail offer and the new Waitrose and John Lewis at home stores will be a great new place for local people to go as well as attracting people back to Ipswich to shop. Moreover, the development will pay for the remediation of a large site that will then be released for much needed employment. I congratulate the developers for bringing this scheme to the town and look forward to seeing it completed.”
AquiGen Real Estate Solutions is a joint venture partnership between developers and investors Generator Group and Aquila House Holdings. It focuses on purchasing and regenerating sites with the potential for mixed-use redevelopment schemes.
AquiGen was advised by planning consultants Barton Willmore who oversaw the successful application.
Agents acting for AquiGen in respect of lettings and land sales are Coke Gearing (Richard Coke 01279 758758) and CBRE (Gerry Gillingham/Richard Lord 020 7182 2000).