Tesco rules out delay for superstore plans

RETAIL giant Tesco has insisted there will be no delay to its Grafton Way development in Ipswich despite a land ownership dispute over a “ransom strip” at the site.

A small section of land next to the site of the proposed new superstore is not part of the development and is owned by international logistics company DHL.

It is understood that talks have been going on between Tesco and DHL over a deal for the land to allow easy access to the site, but that these have not been resolved.

However, a spokeswoman for Tesco insisted this would not delay the development.

She said: “We are aware of this piece of land but do not believe it will present a problem. We fully intend to press on with our building programme as soon as possible.”

Ipswich council leader David Ellesmere said planning officials at the borough had been made aware of the situation. He said: “We understand this is not a serious problem, although anything like this can hold things up.

“From our point of view we are anxious that work should start as soon as possible. The Labour group might have been opposed to the application when it came to the borough, but now it has been approved we want things to start happening.

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“Having delays like this can blight the town and just holds things up – we all hope things soon get resolved.”

Tesco has said it hopes to start work on the site in the late spring, more than two years after the borough gave the scheme planning permission in early 2010.

n The consultation period for the Ipswich town centre masterplan closes today.

Business Improvement District company Ipswich Central unveiled a vision last year to improve links between the town centre and the Waterfront.

Ipswich Central boss Paul Clement said that the Waterfront and the historic town centre both had much to attract people but linking the two parts of the town centre was ”vital.”