Food store plans go to public inquiry
By John HowardA PUBLIC inquiry is to be held as developers seek to overturn a council's decision refusing them permission to convert a former town's waterworks site in to a discount food store.
By John Howard
A PUBLIC inquiry is to be held as developers seek to overturn a council's decision refusing them permission to convert a former town's waterworks site in to a discount food store.
Developers Boden Properties want to use the town centre site at Union Street West in Stowmarket for the Aldi discount food company. They propose to demolish the derelict waterworks filter building and build the new food retail store on site.
They also aim to partly demolish an existing vacant building and refurbish the rest for commercial use, and also create a number of new small shops at the site as part of the development.
Boden Properties were refused permission by Mid Suffolk District Council, have appealed, and a two day inquiry will now be held during August.
Nick Bould, planning director for Boden Properties, said: "The site is in the town centre and is a bit of an eyesore.
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"Both ourselves and mid Suffolk are working on our cases and we are appealing against a decision made by committee that contrary to their officer's recommendation. Our advice is that we have a very strong case for appeal and we are following that through.''
Mr Bould said they believe a discount food store would attract shoppers in to the town centre who would then go on to spend their money in other businesses in the area.
He said the firm have been involved regenerating the town site with the council, providing new education facilities, and this is the last phase.
A spokeswoman for Mid Suffolk District Council said they are bringing in consultants and a barrister to represent the authority after their southern area planning committee threw it out during December.
The public inquiry is due to be heard on August 5 and 6 in the authority's chambers at Needham Market.