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Hadleigh: A new Tesco store could kill off Co-op and independent stores, report claims

PUBLISHED: 08:00 09 February 2013

The planned Hadleigh Tesco store

The planned Hadleigh Tesco store

Archant

IF a Tesco superstore is built in Hadleigh, it could force the town’s Co-op supermarket and two small convenience stores to close, according to a new report.

The retail critique, commissioned by Babergh District Council in relation to an application by Tesco to build on the former Brett Works site, estimates that the recently-opened Morrisons supermarket combined with a new Tesco store would divert £3.68million worth of trade from the Co-op.

In their report published on Babergh’s website, consultants Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners also state that even if these shops were to close leaving Morrisons and Tesco, convenience goods trade in Hadleigh would be “significantly higher” than it is at present. But the document also says there is “limited scope” for two new large food stores in Hadleigh. The council has given objectors until February 14 to respond to the report.

Babergh’s Green Party co-ordinator, Robert Lindsay, who has filed an objection said: “Having three boarded-up, empty shops on the High Street including the Co-op would be a disaster for the town. New tenants would be hard to find and the shops could remain empty for months.”

Co-op executive Amanda Long said they had traded from the Hadleigh site for around 115 years. She added: “This report was compiled before Morrisons opened, and from speaking to other shops in the town, many are already seeing local trade suffer. Some have told us they could be around 30% down. We have real concerns about the vitality and viability of the high street in Hadleigh if another large store opens.”

A Tesco spokesman defended the report findings and described the application as “popular”. He said: “The council’s independent report demonstrated there would be no adverse impact on independent traders. Our proposed store will create jobs for local people and we will offer customers additional choice.”

Witham MP Priti Patel faced questions over the prospect of a possible Cabinet return this morning in her first broadcast interview since quitting over her secret meetings with senior Israeli figures last year.

This is the last week that market traders will operate from Ipswich’s Cornhill for at least a year as work to rebuild the town centre is due to start.

Drivers are being warned they could face delays as roadworks begin at one of Ipswich’s busiest junctions this morning.

The government has still not agreed a deal to end its £50m commitment for the regional fire control “white elephant” in Cambridgeshire – nearly two years after negotiations started.

A police helicopter was involved in a search which continues this morning for a motorist involved in a single-vehicle crash in Suffolk last night.

James Blunt and Plan B have joined this year’s Newmarket Nights line-up.

Police are at the scene of a crash on the A1071 near Hintlesham this evening. Updates here.

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