'No interest' in second store for town
A NORTH Suffolk town has failed to attract any interest from a major chain for its proposed second supermarket, it has emerged.Despite a 2,000 square metre plot of land being designated for a new supermarket in Halesworth, it appears no supermarket operator is interested in opening a store thereThere are few very chain stores in the town, although the local chemist celebrated its grand reopening as Boots this week.
A NORTH Suffolk town has failed to attract any interest from a major chain for its proposed second supermarket, it has emerged.
Despite a 2,000 square metre plot of land being designated for a new supermarket in Halesworth, it appears no supermarket operator is interested in opening a store there
There are few very chain stores in the town, although the local chemist celebrated its grand reopening as Boots this week.
The land earmarked for the new supermarket, on Saxon Way, is owned by the Retail Development Partnership and managed by Albourne Estates.
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The company has been given outline planning consent to use the land for a supermarket development and a detailed planning application has been submitted.
However, Tom Wooley, Waveney District Council's principal planner, said: “The outline application was allowed against our recommendation but no end user is interested in the site.
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“The area's got an awkward access and service centre and everything about the site is confined so it can only be assumed that no supermarket operators are interested.”
The developers bought the piece of land from businessman Geoffrey Quinton at the end of last year and were expected to make progress with their application.
Ezra Leverett, chairman of the Halesworth and Blyth Valley Partnership, said the group had contacted Albourne Estates over the issue but had not had any feedback or reply. He added it was not a bad thing if no-one was interested in the site.
“If you imagine a supermarket going in there it would be hell and it would cause chaos,” he said.
His wife, Sandra, also a member of the partnership and a Halesworth town councillor, also opposed the development of a food store.
She said: “A lot of people are pro-having another supermarket but I'm against it because I think it would destroy the essence of Halesworth.”
Andrew Johnson, Albourne Estates managing director, said he could not confirm or deny if a major supermarket chain was interested in the site for reasons of confidentiality.
He said: “All I can say is that there is a detailed planning application running for a supermarket there.”
A spokesperson from Sainsbury's said they had no records of the site. Other supermarkets were contacted but were unable to comment.
The town currently has a Rainbow supermarket operated by Anglia Co-operative Society.