New supermarket could be built on prime town centre site
- Credit: Archant
Plans have been submitted for a large new supermarket in the heart of historic Halesworth.
No operator has yet been identified for the food store, which would be built behind the Thoroughfare and off Saxons Way.
Halesworth Town Council is keen to quickly gauge the views of residents and is planning to hold a meeting next week to discuss the project.
But residents commenting on Facebook forums seem broadly in favour of the supermarket – with a number hoping for a Lidl or Aldi to move in.
Hans House Finance Company Ltd, of Metfield, has submitted the plans to East Suffolk Council for a 1.4-acre site currently occupied by a number of buildings including retail and residential and part of a public car park.
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The single-storey supermarket would be 1,894sq m in size. It would create 30 new jobs.
Years ago the site was earmarked by Tesco for a store, and later as a Waitrose.
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East Suffolk councillor for Halesworth, Tony Goldson is supporting the plans and said a new supermarket could bring a boost to the town’s economy – drawing people to the town.
He said: “It would be a godsend. I know some people would be worried about shops in the Thoroughfare but personally I believe a supermarket would bring people into the town from the surrounding areas and once they see the independents we have they would use them and shop here more.
“Halesworth is seeing more house building and our population is increasing. We need more choice in the town for food shopping. At the moment we have people going to other nearby towns to shop – though some people cannot afford to do that – or people are having their food delivered with internet shops.”
The plans also propose a 236-space car park – an increase of 81 spaces currently available – with paths to the Angel Link car park, and footpaths to the Thoroughfare.
Agents AML Architecture Ltd said there was a “perceived need” for a food store in the town centre.
In a report, the company said: “The proposed development will comprise the demolition of the majority of existing buildings on the site and the opportunity to achieve pedestrian connectivity between public car parks situated north and south of the site.
“Ease of pedestrian access between Thoroughfare and both public car parks aims to maximise synergy and help invigorate the town centre.
“It is considered that the proposal will contribute substantially to the town centre, without any undue detrimental impact to the listed buildings or Halesworth Town Centre Conservation Area.”
Halesworth Town Council said an extraordinary meeting of the council had been provisionally scheduled for October 14 at 7pm.