Hundreds join Tesco protest march

PROTESTERS in Hadleigh came out in force this weekend to keep the campaign against supermarket giants, Tesco, alive and kicking.

Lizzie Parry

PROTESTERS in Hadleigh came out in force this weekend to keep the campaign against supermarket giants, Tesco, alive and kicking.

Around 300 'Hands off Hadleigh' supporters staged a march through the market town on Saturday in a bid to urge councillors to think again and reject the planning application for a Tesco store on the banks of the River Brett.

The protest was due to coincide with Babergh District Council's planning application meeting to consider the proposals for the store and car park on the designated conservation land, originally scheduled for the end of the summer.

However the date for the meeting is yet to be announced, but instead of cancelling the march, campaigners took their concerns and objections out onto the streets of the town once more to “keep the pot boiling”.

Jan Byrne, a member of the campaign group, said they will step their efforts up a gear when the new date for the meeting is announced.

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“We are just keeping the pot boiling because we still don't know when the application will be heard by the council,” she said. “As soon as we hear when the meeting will be we will crank the campaign up again and arrange another walk.

“This is our town and we don't want a supermarket on that site.”

Protestors walked with their banners from what would be the entrance of the proposed store, down the High Street and back along the picturesque river walk they are fighting to save.

The controversial proposals include a 3,000 square metre retail unit, associated access, a car park for 200 vehicles, relocation of part of the Council's own car park and the removal of trees and hedgerows.

Mrs Byrne said: “It is a very precious site, you can see what a superb area it is, with marvellous open space, we do not want it drowned with a vast building and car park.

“From the site you look across beautiful virgin water meadows, that we can prove has only been used for grazing as far back as 1304.

“The knock on effects of the plans is huge, on the small shops in the town centre, the wildlife on the site itself, the river side walk that is heavily used by the public, and the potential for flooding further down the river.”

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