Hadleigh: Tesco ‘threat’ to retailers

The planned Hadleigh Tesco store

The planned Hadleigh Tesco store - Credit: Archant

IF a new 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 – which represents more than half of its business.

In their report, which has just been 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.

However, the document also highlights that 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.

Co-ordinator of Babergh’s Green Party, Robert Lindsay, who has just sent an official response to the local authority 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, if not years.

“This would blight the High Street and could drive it into a spiral of decline.

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“The report also takes no account of the fact that national chain stores with car parks like Morrisons and Tesco take cash away from independent stores in villages like Bildeston and Monks Eleigh, as well as from family-run stores in Hadleigh itself.”

A Tesco spokesman defended the report findings and described the application as “popular”.

He said: “The council’s own independent report has demonstrated that there would be no adverse impact on independent traders. We believe our proposed store is very popular, will create many jobs for local people and we will be offering customers additional choice and convenience.

“This is something we know the community has been seeking for some time.

“Our car park alone will help support local traders and keep shoppers in the town. This should be welcomed.”