A development bringing more than 100 jobs to one of New Anglia LEP’s Space to Innovate Enterprise Zone sites has been approved. Babergh District Council’s planning committee has given the green light to plans for the first new development on Swich Park, the former sugar beet factory site in Sproughton west of Ipswich, which was purchased by neighbouring Ipswich Borough Council.
The application had been made by national food company LDH La Doria – a major supplier of a wide range of Retailer Own Brand grocery products as well as some branded products which it supplies to major food retailers. It is expected that the operation will initially create around 125 jobs. However, Swich Park could bring up to 1,000 jobs to the area once developed. Ipswich Borough Council bought the site in 2014 to ensure it was developed for employment purposes.
Swich Park is one of 10 sites which form New Anglia LEP’s Space to Innovate Enterprise Zone. The sites across Norfolk and Suffolk all offer discounted business rates, simplified planning and access to superfast broadband to new and expanding businesses. The LEP aims to create 18,500 jobs in the 25 year lifetime of the zone, including 5,000 by 2021.
Doug Field, Chair of New Anglia LEP, said: “This represents a real step forward for Swich Park. The site offers enormous potential for ambitious businesses to grow and innovate in an accessible location, with the added advantages that Enterprise Zone status brings. LDH La Doria’s commitment to the site is recognition of that. It’s also great news for our ambitions for job creation and inward investment in our two counties.”
Borough Council chiefs welcomed the planning go-ahead. Martyn Fulcher, Head of Development, said: “This is excellent news for the town and the wider area. LDH is the first big company to invest in the new Swich Park, which benefits from a great location close to the A14/12 corridor and from its Enterprise Zone status. We look forward to welcoming more companies in the future in order to bring greater prosperity to the Ipswich area.”
Babergh councillors also approved a detailed infrastructure application for the 130-acre site.
Councillor John Ward, Babergh District Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy, said: “The Sproughton Enterprise Zone at Swich Park is a real opportunity for businesses to come into Babergh and establish themselves, bringing jobs, growth and new services with them. These planning permissions are the first step towards bringing those jobs and that growth to the District and we will continue to work on making Babergh an attractive place for business to grow.”