Poll: Business chiefs step up fight against Tesco’s store bid for Saxmundham Road, Aldeburgh

BUSINESS chiefs have stepped up their fight against controversial proposals to open a supermarket in their coastal town.

Retail giant Tesco has tabled a planning application with Suffolk Coastal District Council for the derelict Crossways Garage site in Saxmundham Road, Aldeburgh. Along with an Express store, the plans also include five flats.

Aldeburgh Business Association (ABA) is now urging as many people as possible to write to the district council with their objections. Members fear the arrival of Tesco will erode the town’s unique character and harm independent traders. Naomi Tarry, chairman of ABA, said: “We only have a very short window of opportunity.

“Any concerns must be on planning grounds and we have come up with a list of reasons of how people might want to object depending on their own views. These can be found in a number of shops in the town and will also be going up on the ABA website.

“We have already had a tremendous response to a petition in support of our independent shops – more than 1,000 have signed up online. People visit Aldeburgh because it’s different to other high streets and we are up for the challenge of ensuring it remains so.”

However, some in the town support the application. Keith Rumsey, who has lived in Aldeburgh for 37 years, said: “I don’t have a problem with it. I’d like to see something different [to the shops on the High Street].

“However I am worried about the flats as I’m not sure young, local people will be able to afford them.”

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Fellow resident Keith Gayton added: “A lot of the current shops just cater for the holiday home owners. I think the store would keep people in the town, rather than them going elsewhere to do their shopping.”

Will Stanton, director of developers Pigeon, said there has been significant support for the application from some corners of town, including disabled people who are not able to drive further afield to shop. He said more than 200 letters had been received in support of a new Tesco store.

More details of how to register your views can be found at www.aldeburghsuffolk.com.