Tesco concerns continue
BUSINESS leaders voiced their concerns over plans for a new Tesco supermarket in a Suffolk town at a meeting with their MP but have vowed to recognise the possible benefits for residents.
Leiston Business Association met with Suffolk Coastal MP Dr Therese Coffey yesterday to discuss matters including the unveiling of plans from retail giant Tesco to open a new supermarket in Abbey Road, near the site of Jewson.
The 20,000 sq ft store would bring 200 jobs to the town, but criticism has already been levelled at the proposals given the development which is already underway of another Tesco store at Saxmundham.
Jonny Newton, head of Leiston Business Association, said: “We as a business association have concerns about Tesco coming to Leiston, and specifically our members in the high street, but obviously we see the benefits for residents in the town.
“We need to have more information and I think it’s in everyone’s best interests for us to have a meeting after the exhibition of the plans.
“We don’t really know all the facts yet and everyone’s getting into a bit of a panic when we don’t actually know what they intend to do, so the sooner we can get the facts, the better.”
The company has started consultation with local residents and businesses, and will hold a public exhibition of its plans on November 26 and 27 at Leiston United Church on the High Street.
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Dr Coffey, who visited the proposed site yesterday, said: “I think a lot of people are waiting to see what happens.
“It will be an interesting challenge for Tesco. Given that it’s clearly out of town and people would not walk there, I wouldn’t be quite so keen on it because it’s another out of town development.
“But if you speak to some of the residents, they are quite happy because of the choice it will bring, so I look forward to attending the consultation and I’m very keen for people to let me know what they think.”