As Ipswich's Futura Park expansion stalls - and a new retail park beside it doesn't get off the ground beyond the idea stage - Colchester's Tollgate shopping experience is about to grow as the Tollgate Partnership has won a planning appeal to develop on the old 20-acre former Sainsburys site - currently referred to as Tollgate Village. Images from the official website - Tollgate Village. Copyright of images remain with them. Colchester (retail park wise) has always been better than Ipswich. It is always good to look down the road to see what they are doing better. The above are just artistic representations of what it might look like - it could look different, very different. Not to everyones taste, the project clearly wants a bespoke style... not the typical basic retail park model you will find elsewhere in most towns. This creates a destination. Futura Park is a mix of a couple of bulky goods, a supermarket, a coffee shop and a couple of car showrooms. No theme and not a destination. Not a day out.We cannot say too much until it is built. It might not go as planned. It is likely to become a regional draw which will impacts Ipswich's competitiveness. Zone 1 (phase 1):5 storey multi-storey car park (1200 spaces) 1,300 seat cinema21,200 sq m of retail space (7,500 sq m anchor tenant)430 sq m restaurants/cafesZone 2 & 3 (appears to be the current Tollgate Shopping site):3,250 sq m leisure ("indoor adventure centre")650 sq m additional restaurant/cafes6,150 sq m additional retail spaceadditional 280 surface car parking spacesHow is Ipswich expected to compete with this? Whether it is Bury St Edmunds, Colchester or Norwich, we are far behind. With two cinemas (one new, one revamped) it will be tougher for them with this opening up just down the road. Buttermarket Centre will feel an impact as Ipswich is less able to attract people into the county town. I look forward to visiting it... just think... with Ipswich getting the opportunity of Enterprise Zones we could have finally got the Mint Quarter (or an alternative ambitious scheme, perhaps out of town) to have our own massive shopping destination... Bury St Edmunds have done this on a small-ish but significant scale. Another wasted opportunity. As time goes on the competing regional centres will all create new schemes to attract people to them - be it local or from the region - Ipswich won't understand this and we are losing out because of it. This is why I hope SnOasis finally gets the go ahead and gets completed... despite having no interest in winter sports... as long as something creating a destination close to Ipswich.