Felixstowe: Walton Green Tesco superstore bid generates more than 600 objections

A computer-generated image of the Walton Green Tesco at Felixstowe.

A computer-generated image of the Walton Green Tesco at Felixstowe. - Credit: Archant

More than 600 objections have been made to a Tesco superstore being built on the edge of Felixstowe.

Suffolk Coastal councillors are due to visit the site at Walton Green this month to assess the area and are expected to make a decision this autumn.

The Walton Green Partnership has put forward plans for a 30,000sq ft supermarket, business units, community building and allotments, cafe, live to work units, and around 200 homes on the 30-acre site in Walton High Street.

It has also put in proposals for a further 190 homes on a field on the opposite side of the street, next door to the new Felixstowe Academy.

A preliminary report to councillors revealed the extent of the opposition to the multi-million pound project.

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Felixstowe Town Council is recommending refusal for a variety of reasons, including major worries over the impact on shops in the town, concern at the use of grade one agricultural land, disturbance to nearby residents from noise, air and light pollution, and housing being so close to the busy A14 and Candlet Road, the Walton by-pass.

The council said: “The inclusion of a Tesco supermarket on this site has the potential to undermine the retail viability of both Walton and Felixstowe, particularly if it threatens the existing Tesco Metro in Hamilton Road.”

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Trimley St Mary Parish Council and Trimley St Martin Parish Council, which has submitted a nine-page document, have also obejcted, as have Sport England and the Suffolk Preservation Society.

In his report, Philip Ridley, head of planning and coastal management at Suffolk Coastal, said in total 863 representations had been received, including 620 objections, and 197 in support of the development.

There are also four petitions, two in support and two in opposition.

Mr Ridley said: “Given the significance of the proposals, the significant local interest in the proposal, the size of the development proposed in totality, the highway implications connected also with the residential application opposite and the school development, the significant number of planning considerations that will need to be applied, and also to ensure consistency in decision making, it is recommended that members of the committee visit the site to understand its context and relationship to surrounding land uses.”

The Walton Green Partnership says its research has shown a need for the store and is confident it will claw back to Felixstowe around £10million in trade which is currently lost to the town by people travelling to shop at superstores at Martlesham and the edge of Ipswich.

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