Town will ‘improve and thrive’ with new supermarket, community leaders say
- Credit: Charlotte Bond
Halesworth community leaders are in favour of a new supermarket being built in the town centre - but details of which chain is behind the bid are yet to revealed.
In an extraordinary meeting on Monday, Halesworth town councillors backed proposals for a new single-storey supermarket, despite concerns being raised over its design and the increase in traffic it would bring.
Plans have been lodged for a large store to be built off Saxons Way in land currently occupied by several smaller buildings and a car park.
MORE: Plans for 75-place care home and 93 apartments set for town centreAML Architecture Ltd, who submitted the proposals on behalf of the landowner, said there was a “perceived need” for a new food store in the town centre.
As well as the store, the developer has also proposed constructing a 236-space car park, a footpath to the Thoroughfare and a recycling area.
The entrance to the existing car park would be retained under the plans and new access would be created for delivery lorries, though the design is to be finalised at a later date.
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AML Architecture said the new supermarket would “contribute substantially” to nearby businesses and “help invigorate the town centre”.
Many Halesworth town centre traders have already expressed their support for the project, believing it could help attract more customers to the area.
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In the meeting, numerous members of the public said they would be in favour of a new supermarket being built - with many arguing it would promote healthy competition with the East of England Co-op and prevent people from travelling more than 10 miles to Beccles for shopping.
Town councillors also said the store would have a knock-on effect of attracting more people to Halesworth, but voiced fears that the inclusion of a cafe in the scheme would take trade away from established businesses in the Thoroughfare.
Community leaders did also express concern over potential traffic issues and the lack of clarity over the design for the supermarket, with no retailer confirmed as the party behind the application.
However, no councillors voted against the proposals and they believed the development would benefit the town as a whole.
David Wollweber, chairman of Halesworth Town Council, told the meeting: “I am in favour of this supermarket but with caveats. I do hope that Halesworth will improve and thrive with this development.”