By Emma Brennan
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
BUSINESS leaders in Hadleigh believe supermarket chain Tesco should drop plans for a new store in the town centre in line with the findings of a previous public enquiry.
In 2011, Babergh councillors threw out controverisal plans to put a Tesco store on the former Brett Works behind High Street on the grounds of unsuitable design. But the company submitted revised plans to the district council last August, reigniting a protest campaign from residents who fear the project could harm the high street ecomony.
Tesco based its initial application on results of a public inquiry which found that Hadleigh needed a second supermarket in addition to its High Street Co-Op store. However since then, a new Morrisons superstore has opened on an exisiting retail site.
Hadleigh Chamber of Commerce president Tony Addison said this has left people in the town “grappling with a tricky planning problem”. He added: “Hadleigh Chamber of Commerce is concerned that planners may continue to support the Tesco application even though they can no longer quote the planning inquiry findings in its support.
“We believe that three supermarkets would be deadly for the town’s retailers and we also feel that those people who wanted an extra supermarket now have one. Any plans for more retail space should be turned down because the situation has changed fundamentally.”
Tesco confirmed that it would be proceeding with its application and a spokesman added: “An independent retail study by the (Babergh) council’s own retail consultants found that another supermarket would not have any significant detrimental impact on the town. We believe we have put forward a popular proposal which has a lot of support.”
No date has been set for the application to be discussed by Babergh planning committee.