Campaigners raise fears over Tesco plans

PROPOSALS to build a supermarket in a historic Suffolk market town will lead to roads being "gridlocked" and environmental damage, it has been claimed.

Russell Claydon

A MULTI-million pound supermarket proposed for an historic Suffolk market town could leave it gridlocked and have a huge environmental impact, campaigners have warned.

The planned site for a Tesco store in Hadleigh has been heavily criticised because of fears the development would have detrimental implications.

The supermarket giant submitted its plans for a uniquely-designed superstore on the Brett Works site at the end of February, after Babergh District Council agreed to sell off its land to the retailer.

But the Hadleigh Society argue the location of the 3,055 sq metre (33,000 sq feet) store would have a major impact on the nearby wildlife and that the volume of traffic could be hazardous to their thriving community.

Tesco's application estimates the non-24 hour store would produce 4,000 car movements a day and would be accessed from Bridge Street.

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John Bloomfield, chairman of the Hadleigh Society, said 75% of the traffic would come into the town from the direction of the bridge - a disaster for first responders.

“If we had to have one (a supermarket) at all it should not be where it would ruin an historic town,” he said. “It is in a conservation area, on a flood plain and it is a ghastly design with access off a bridge.”

Jan Byrne, a town councillor from the society, said she spoke for many when she said an alternative location off the by-pass on the edge of town was preferable.

Kathryn Grandon, a mother of two who lives in Hadleigh, said she could see the town becoming “regularly gridlocked” at the proposed location.

Tesco insist there will be no significant extra traffic as a result of the location of the store, which was earmarked for supermarket use by the district council.

Michael Kissman, Tesco's coporate affairs manager, said: “Safety is paramount in anything we do and our planning application has a traffic assessment that has been done with the Highway's Agency.

“There is no evidence whatsoever to suggest it will have a negative impact on emergency response vehicles. We have safe access and you are not going to have delivery trucks driving down Hadleigh High Street.”

A Babergh spokesperson said it was agreed by councillors that the Brett Works site was the best location for a supermarket.

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