Councillors' fears over new supermarket

A TOWN council has expresses its “serious worries” about the impact on a community of a proposed new supermarket.The objections come as a blow to a bid to build a second supermarket in Halesworth.

By David Lennard

A TOWN council has expresses its “serious worries” about the impact on a community of a proposed new supermarket.

The objections come as a blow to a bid to build a second supermarket in Halesworth.

Members of the town council have this week opposed new traffic schemes for the town centre that have been submitted as part of the plans for the new store.


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Town council chairman Bill Pagan said: “We are certain that the proposals would cause unacceptable traffic problems.”

Mr Pagan, vice-chairman Alan Holzer, and Paul Whitlow, of the council's traffic management initiatives group, made their feelings known after studying a report from traffic engineering consultants G H Bullard and Associates.

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The consultants' report has been sent to highways officials at Suffolk County Council and now town councillors have decided to write to the county council expressing their own fears.

As part of the proposals new traffic lights would be installed on the Saxons Way relief road and a new entrance would be built for traffic to enter the new store.

Cars leaving the supermarket would use the existing town centre car park junction that would be improved.

“We are very concerned about the report and its impact on Saxons Way and the car parks,” added Mr Pagan.

Pat Chambers, clerk of Halesworth Town Council, has written to the district council planning office, saying that town councillors are “very seriously worried and concerned about the whole development”.

But she added the council will express its views officially at a later date when more information about the project is available.

The proposal for the new store, from Albourne Estates, is on land between The Thoroughfare and Saxons Way and it would have a gross retail floorspace of 22,500 sq ft.

The proposal was first put to Waveney District Council in June but it has still to come before district councillors.

Campaigners against the new supermarket - Halesworth Against Second Supermarket Lobby - have also written to the county council objecting to the new road layout being proposed because they say the plans are based on “outdated” traffic figures.

So far the developers have been unable to disclose the name of the supermarket chain behind the proposed new store at Halesworth, which would also include an underground car park.

There is already planning permission for a smaller supermarket on the site following an earlier public enquiry and High Court case.

The local community appears split on the issue with both supporters and opponents of the proposed new store.

It is anticipated that it will be early in the New Year before the application reaches Waveney District Council's rural area development control committee.

Last night, the developer behind the project was unavailable for comment.

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