D-day looms for Tesco

ONE of the longest-running planning rows in Suffolk seems set to come to a head next month when a decision is made on a new Tesco store for Hadleigh.

Members of Babergh Council’s planning committee are to formally consider the application from the store giant to build a new supermarket in the heart of the market town.

The meeting will be held in Hadleigh Guildhall at 9.30am on July 14 – it has been moved from the council’s own offices because of the number of members of the public expected to want to attend.

Proposals to build a new Tesco in Hadleigh have split the historic town down the middle.

Many residents fear that the arrival of the store would lead to closure of some of the long-established businesses. Others feel that Tesco would add welcome competition, and attract shoppers who would otherwise go to superstores on the edge of Ipswich or Sudbury.

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Some residents fear that a new supermarket in the middle of the town will add to its traffic problems and would rather see a development on the edge of Hadleigh.

Meanwhile, the final arguments have been put forward for and against a bid by Tesco to open a store in Halesworth.

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The four parties involved have made their closing submissions at the public inquiry into the controversial application for a 3,300m sq store off Angel Link.

Dr Andrew Jones, from opposition group Save Halesworth, said its core argument surrounded the impact the scheme, proposed on land known as the Dairy Hill site, would have on the town centre.

Paul Shadarevian, for Waveney District Council, said there had been no evidence that the Thoroughfare site, for which Tesco has planning permission for a store two thirds of the proposed supermarket, had been “thoroughly assessed” as a suitable location.

Patrick Clarkson QC, for Tesco, said flooding issues rendered the Thoroughfare site inappropriate for large retail development.

He said currently a significant proportion of shoppers travelled out of town for bulk food purchases, adding that the proposed store would strengthen Halesworth’s role in the local shopping hierarchy.

The public inquiry was held because Tesco lodged an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate for a delay by Waveney District Council in a decision on the application.

The inspector is expected to make a decision after July 19.

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