An industrial site that has been empty for two-and-a-half years could be converted to retail use, creating 150 new jobs.
Western Way Retail (WWR) submitted a planning application last Friday to redevelop the former Haldo building opposite Bury St Edmunds’ Asda superstore to create two retail units totalling 5,125sq m on a 1.5 hectare site.
The developers plan to convert and extend the main part of the building to create a 3,220sq m store for The Range, a home furnishing chain with 96 stores across the country, including Ipswich, Norwich and King’s Lynn.
They say they originally intended to convert the remaining part of the building but it was not tall enough, so it will be demolished, along with ancillary buildings and a tall brick chimney, to create another 1,905sq m retail unit.
WWR’s planning statement says: “The Range anticipates employing 60 people full time and 40 people part time if this application is successful.
“OIt is anticipated that a further 30 full time and 20 part time people will be employed in the rebuilt building that is not occupied by The Range, leading to some 150 people being employed on the site compared with the 40 people employed by Haldo.”
The site has been on the market since 2010 and the statement quotes a marketing report by agents Barker Storey Matthews saying: “The general feedback received from the industrial occupiers we have taken to the site is that the property has not been suitable for the reasons of accessibility, size, eaves height or location.”
The developers have pledged to survey sustainable boundary trees, use lighting that will not spread beyond the site and to have fencing at least 2m tall.
The application can be viewed and commented on at the West Suffolk Planning website