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Ipswich Borough Council executive agreed £18.2m in capital budget for new depot for waste collection and street cleaning fleets

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More than £18million of funding has been agreed for a new ‘green’ depot for council waste, street cleaning and housing maintenance teams in Ipswich.

Ipswich Borough Council’s executive this month agreed to allocate £18.2m in its capital programme to convert the former Lebronze Alloys site in Hadleigh Road/New Way into a hub that will accommodate its waste and recycling collection teams, as well as housing maintenance crews and street cleaning operations.

The deal will see the authority move out of its existing Gipping House base, which the authority said was ageing and no longer fit for purpose.

Grafton House, Ipswich Borough Council. Picture: Jason Noble
Grafton House, Ipswich Borough Council. Picture: Jason Noble

The new hub will include electric vehicle charging points, a dedicated vehicle maintenance unit and carbon neutral main building.

It is hoped a separate entrance and exit provision can be created, with the council confirming it would also include a bulk fuel tank that could accommodate hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) fuel capabilities if it opts to go down that route for its refuse fleet.

Phil Smart, Labour portfolio holder for the environment, said: “This is a very exciting time for the council’s operations, to be investing in a new depot of its own.

“The plans are still subject to a little bit of tweaking and refinement, but it is very close.”

Executive’s agreement means Handford Developments – an arms length company owned by the council – can submit a planning permission early in the new year, which must be agreed before construction work can begin.

However, demolition work is expected to be completed by the end of February.

A September 2023 occupation has been earmarked by the authority.

The council sold its current Gipping House base in 2012, and has been renting its space since then.

Ipswich Borough Council leader David Ellesmere. Picture: IBC
Ipswich Borough Council leader David Ellesmere. Picture: IBC

Conservative group leader Ian Fisher said: “It’s an exciting project and good to see,” while Labour council leader David Ellesmere added: “It is a major investment but it is a big step along the route of things we need to do to ensure the council meets its carbon neutrality target by 2030.”

Future development is also possible as a 1.5-acre portion will be vacant, and could be developed for light industrial use in the future.