Brewer gets wine shop green light

SUFFOLK brewer Adnams has been given permission to open a wine shop in Woodbridge despite opponents claiming it would take people away from the town centre and affect the vitality of other shops.

SUFFOLK brewer Adnams has been given permission to open a wine shop in Woodbridge despite opponents claiming it would take people away from the town centre and affect the vitality of other shops.

Planning officers had warned that if permission was granted for Adnams to open in the former WR Refrigeration building, in Station Road, it would set a precedent and lead to a demand for other retail units in the building.

Approval had already been granted for a wholesale wine warehouse where customers would have to buy a minimum of 24 bottles or cans. But Adnams wanted the unit to include retail sales.

The company was given permission by the development control committee yesterdayafter Neil Ward, planning agent, said there were no other suitable sites in Woodbridge.


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Mr Ward said: ''Adnams have looked very carefully at all the available premises in the town centre and are firmly of the opinion that none of them would be suitable for their particular use.''

Three retail units are being built in Oak Lane car park next to Woolworths but Mr Ward said there would be no dedicated parking for customers and the Adnams lorries, which were nine metres long, would find it very difficult to manoeuvre in the public car park.

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Mr Ward added: ''The proposed site is only 40m from the town centre, it adjoins two town centre car parks and, if anything, it is encouraging more people into the town centre. I am firmly of the opinion that Adnams would be asset to the town centre.''

Cllr Rae Leighton said the Adnams shop in Southwold was outside the town centre and he added: ''I would have thought a town like Woodbridge which regards itself as being upmarket and elitist would welcome such a prestigious business as this. It would enhance it enormously and I think Woodbridge would welcome this.''

Cllr Martin Grimwood said the proposed site was very close to the edge of the existing town centre and there were other retail units close by including the district council's tourist information centre.

The refrigeration building will also include offices, a restaurant and five flats, with a new link for vehicles and pedestrians between adjoining car parks.

Marion Wells, Woodbridge's town centre coordinator, said extra signs were required to direct people visiting the building to the other retail facilities in the town.

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