Felixstowe Asda superstore decision delayed as plan deferred at last-minute

Asda wants to use vacant land at the Haven Exchange in Felixstowe for a new superstore.

Asda wants to use vacant land at the Haven Exchange in Felixstowe for a new superstore. - Credit: Archant

Proposals for an £18million new superstore at Felixstowe remain up in the air after the developers asked for a decision to be deferred at the last-minute.

It is understood the project for a 20,000sq ft Asda store, filling station and 164-space car park at Haven Exchange, off the Dock Gate One roundabout, has not been withdrawn and could come back before councillors as early as next month.

However, it was the decision of Cranford Developments to defer the scheme before Suffolk Coastal’s north area development management area sub-committee could discuss it.

It is not known whether the developers will be wanting further talks with the planning officers – who were recommending refusal of the Asda – or seeking other expert advice.

The company has resubmitted the plans for the 4.6-acre site – which were refused in 2013 – because it says no progress has been made on proposals for an already-agreed supermarket in the town centre.

However, planning officers believe it is too early to write-off the agreed scheme for Railway Approach, and do not want to risk the resort ending up with two superstores, which would cause “unacceptable harm” to the town centre shopping area.

In a report, Suffolk Coastal planning case officer Liz Beighton said officers had carefully weighed up the benefits that would arise from allowing the Asda, but still did not feel there was sufficient grounds or policy to support the project following advice from the council’s retail experts Strategic Perspectives.

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She said: “The Railway Approach site is considered to represent the optimum location for meeting the identified need for a new foodstore in Felixstowe and the positive benefits of the store in linked trips and expenditure will mean that its impact would not be significantly adverse as to undermine the town centre’s vitality and viability as a whole.”