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Co-op to open new village store, creating 15 jobs

PUBLISHED: 10:17 02 September 2020 | UPDATED: 10:17 02 September 2020

New details have been confirmed for the new Co-Op store in Rendlesham. Picture: DIMITRIS LEGAKIS/ ATHENA PICTURES

New details have been confirmed for the new Co-Op store in Rendlesham. Picture: DIMITRIS LEGAKIS/ ATHENA PICTURES

Athena Picture Agency Ltd

A new Co-op store is to open in Rendlesham, creating 15 new jobs - despite concerns from a nearby Costcutter store that it will cause competition for trade.

Danny Stephan and Ziyad Mohammed run the Costcutter shop in the village Picture: ZIYAD MOHAMMEDDanny Stephan and Ziyad Mohammed run the Costcutter shop in the village Picture: ZIYAD MOHAMMED

Co-op has put in an application for a food license to open a new shop in Walnut Tree Avenue, Rendlesham.

The application follows months of planning discussions as developers looked to create 11 affordable homes and two shop units on the former sports centre site in the village.

After initially being rejected last year, developers FPC (Rendlesham) were granted planning permission in July by East Suffolk Council to go ahead with the development.

In the applications for the site, the company said it had a “national chain” lined up to take on the building.

The Angel Theatre was knocked down in 2016 Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNThe Angel Theatre was knocked down in 2016 Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

However, not everyone in the village is pleased with the news of the new development.

Ziyad Muhammed, is one of the co-owners of the Costcutters shop in the village, at present it is the only retailer in the Rendlesham.

He is worried about the impact on his business, particularly as he sells Co-op products.

“I feel very devastated,” said Mr Muhammed.

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“My partner and I have invested all our lifetime savings to this shop.

“We’ve been doing our best to help the community since we took over the store since last year.

“We have helped the community during the pandemic time and we made sure everything that residents needed was available for the them.”

Co-op said that the store, which is set to open in 2021, would bring new jobs to the area.

A Co-op spokesman, said: “Pending all necessary approvals, the Co-op is looking to lease the site from the current developer which will enable it to provide the community in Rendlesham with a new store in 2021.

“A six figure investment will create up to 15 jobs for local people.

“The store will run on renewable electricity and have a focus on fresh, healthy products, food-to-go, vegan and free-from foods, Fairtrade products, award winning wines, meal ideas and essentials.

“Our aim is to operate at the heart of local life, connecting communities and making a difference locally and Co-op’s Membership scheme sees local causes receive a funding boost every time our Members buy own-brand products.”

MORE: Homes and shops get go-ahead – despite village’s opposition


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