Ipswich planners are set to decide on the demolition of a garden center

4:30 p.m. March 2, 2022

The proposal to build a care home on the site of an Ipswich garden center is due to be discussed at a council planning meeting next week, after nearly 50 objections from residents.

First Care Homes wants to demolish Victoria Nurseries, in Kettlebaston Way, to develop the site into a 70-bedroom three-storey care home.

The first bid for the site was met with opposition from the community and councillors, who felt the height of the building was too high.

A new application was submitted in early September 2021 with the care home modified to be at a similar height to surrounding homes.

ADG Architects, the care home agent, said the new plan results “in an improved scheme which will provide the client with a building which will meet their brief operational requirements and comply with CQC legislation without exceeding the constraints of the site. and local planning policies”.

With this development, First Care Homes aims to meet the “future and current” demand for care facilities in the region.

Victoria Nurseries is currently operating on the site with a temporary planning permit, which is subject to a condition to “cease on or before December 31, 2022”.

Cllr Inga Lockington, for St Margaret’s and Westgate, also submitted an objection to the plans
– Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

A total of 48 representations – including from ward councilor Inga Lockington – opposing the plans were received by the planning department, with concerns over lack of parking, perceived loss of privacy and light, and the loss of a business that serves the local community.

Although it has no objections to the proposed use of the site, the Ipswich Conservation and Design Committee, consulted, objected to the details of the plans.

The committee’s response noted that “the project, as revised, is still unacceptable due to concerns about the proposed scale of the building and the inadequacy of car parking provision and space”.

No objections were raised by any of the other authorities approached for consultation, but Suffolk Highways recommended better accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists.

The planning and development committee is due to meet and decide whether or not to approve the application on Wednesday, March 9.