Leiston: Retail giant Tesco abandons its plans for town

RETAIL giant Tesco has abandoned its plans to build a new store on the outskirts of a Suffolk town, the East Anglian Daily Times can reveal.

RETAIL giant Tesco has abandoned its plans to build a new store on the outskirts of a Suffolk town, the East Anglian Daily Times can reveal.

The retailer had been hoping to build a 20,000 sq ft supermarket at a site in Abbey Road, Leiston.

The proposal sparked much debate among residents and shopkeepers alike and Tesco decided to put its application on hold to explore other sites closer to the town centre.

But bosses have confirmed that they have been unable to find an appropriate alternative and will now be abandoning their plans completely.


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Louise Gosling, from Tesco, said: “We’ve worked hard over the past two years trying to make these plans for Leiston work and we’re disappointed to conclude that isn’t possible to build a store that would best serve our customers in the town - either in Abbey Road on closer to the High Street.

“I’d like to thank everyone who’s given us feedback, whether it’s been supportive or to express their concerns.

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“We’re very grateful for all the encouragement we’ve been given by all our supporters and I’m sorry for the disappointment this news will cause them.”

The retail giant’s plans included a 20,000 sq ft store and six business units next to Jewson. The application also included proposals for 250 car parking spaces, recycling facilities and improved footpaths to the town centre.

Bosses claimed the development would create many jobs, while those in support welcomed the increased choice and lower prices they believed it would bring.

Some 273 people signed up to a “Tesco for Leiston” page on social networking website Facebook.

But the bid also met with fierce opposition from local retailers, businesses and other members of the public, who felt the out-of-town location was wrong and would take footfall away from the main shopping area, severely damaging trade.

Last night Chris Nichols, chairman of Lay off Leiston, which was formed to oppose the plans, welcomed Tesco’s decision.

“It’s fantastic news,” he said. “I am sure all our supporters will be very happy. It’s a great result for the small, independent traders. The next step is to concentrate on bringing people into the town for the Easter and summer holidays.”

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