Official plans for a new M&S Foodhall in Stowmarket have been submitted. 

Location 3 Properties Ltd (L3P) is behind the proposal to create a new retail park and trading estate on land on Tomo Road and Gun Cotton Way.

The planning application is for the creation of three retail units, with associated car parking, access, landscaping and servicing arrangements.

Earlier this month the developer launched an online consultation. In the plans, it reported 618 respondents, or over 95 per cent of those who responded, in favour of the development.

The application also states the development would ‘act as a catalyst for realising further investment within Stowmarket in direct response to the retail needs of the growing community’ — estimated at around 1,500 new homes.

In turn, the plans could also reduce the need for residents to travel to Bury St Edmunds and Ipswich in order to access ‘comparable retail provision’.

The development is east of Tomo Road Business Park and would consist of three retail stores alongside M&S Foodhall which has already signed up to take space.

The other two units would include an unannounced ‘national mixed goods retailer’, and another occupier that hasn’t yet been identified.

The plans would see a floor area totalling 5,298 sqm, with a large 238-vehicle car park also accompanying it.

The new development would create around 180 new full-time jobs but also send ‘a strong and tangible message of investment and confidence in Stowmarket’.

Last week a spokesman for M&S addressed fears the new development could threaten the company's other department stores in Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds.

The company dismissed this and said the store would be an additional store serving the town and the growing Mid Suffolk area.

A spokesman for M&S said: "He said: “We’re hoping to open a brand new M&S Foodhall in Stowmarket, offering local customers a wide range of great quality, trusted value M&S Food products and we’re looking forward to hearing views from the community.”