Hadleigh: Tesco reveals express store bid
SUPERMARKET giant Tesco is exploring the option of opening a convenience store in Hadleigh, the EADT can reveal.
The retailer – which has been fighting to open in the town for the last two decades – has confirmed it is looking at options for a Tesco Express in the High Street.
The revelation comes just weeks after rival Morrisons said it would be creating up to 250 jobs by opening a store next to Buyright in 2013.
Despite Tesco exploring options for a convenience store in the town centre it says it is still pressing ahead with plans for another store on the former Brett Works site, with an application expected to be submitted by the end of the year. “I’m surprised they have not looked at a Tesco Express earlier,” said Jan Byrne, of Hands Off Hadleigh. “If they decide to do it now it looks a bit like sour grapes because Morrisons have jumped ahead of them.”
A spokeswoman for Tesco said it was “scoping” for sites but had not identified nor was in negotiations over a particular premises.
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She added: “We have been keen to open a store in Hadleigh for many years and we remain committed to bringing improved shopping services to the town.
“Many shoppers, residents and businesses have told us they would welcome a Tesco Express store in the High Street because it would support existing trade and draw more people to the town centre. This is one of the options we are considering at the moment.”
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Roydon Smith, of the Tesco Supporters’ Group, which has 300 members, said: “I welcome Tesco but I’m surprised because Tesco Express is no competition to Morrisons.
“There’s only one grocery store in the High Street and that’s our objection – they have got a complete monopoly. We want some competition.”
Tesco’s latest move comes after a Freedom of Information request by the EADT revealed the retailer’s latest application for the Brett Works site cost the taxpayer �12,450. Babergh District Council said it spent �2,250 on legal fees and around �10,200 for external consultants’ advice on transport and retail matters.