Felixstowe: Supermarkets set to pay for town centre improvements

Tesco's store proposals at Walton Green, Felixstowe, have not found overwhelming support so far.

Tesco's store proposals at Walton Green, Felixstowe, have not found overwhelming support so far. - Credit: Archant

Supermarket companies wanting to build new stores at Felixstowe will be expected to put together considerable financial packages to help town centre traders.

A computer-generated image of the new Tesco at Walton Green, Felixstowe.

A computer-generated image of the new Tesco at Walton Green, Felixstowe. - Credit: Archant

Tesco could be forced to shell out a six-figure sum to support traders and improve the town centre if it builds a 30,000sq ft superstore at Walton Green.

Meanwhile, backers of a 20,000sq ft supermarket at Haven Exchange – understood to be Asda – will also have to contribute a sum to a town centre fund, as well as enhancing footpaths and cycleways leading to the site.

Plans have also been submitted to Suffolk Coastal from a third developer for a 30,000sq ft store on land at the railway station, and the scheme includes a proposed public transport interchange.

So far one meeting has been held between Tesco and Felixstowe Chamber of Trade to discuss what might be included in a legal agreement should the company’s new supermarket off Walton High Street be approved.


You may also want to watch:


Chamber chairman Andrew Rowdon said traders – who are opposing the supermarket – had taken a step back since that meeting and refused invitations to attend any more.

He said: “We don’t feel at this stage that it is the best thing to do until the planning application has moved on further.

Most Read

“At the meeting we discussed the kind of things which might be suitable but nothing more than that. They then asked to see us again but I cannot see anything to gain at the moment.

“Tesco know we are not supporting them, but at the same time it is right as a chamber that we do look at a contingency plan in case it gets the go-ahead, but we have to be cautious.

“We would talking about a sizeable amount of money which will need to benefit the traders and the town as a whole and there needs to be a plan for a three to five-year period because the supermarket impact will go on for some time.”

The legal agreement, called a section 106, will include a cash contribution to support the vitality and viability of the town centre and the Walton High Street shops to pay for web-based marketing and the promotion of special events.

It would also contribute towards pavement work, signs, lighting, public art, and improvements to shopfronts and other buildings to make the town centre look more attractive.

Tesco has said it wants to work together with the town centre and make a practical difference. Talks with traders were at a very early stage.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus