Store plan withdrawn

CONTROVERSIAL plans to extend a supermarket in a north Suffolk town have been withdrawn to the relief of campaigners who say it is “perfectly adequate” as it is.

Anglia Regional Co-operative has withdrawn plans to extend its Rainbow store in Saxons Way, Halesworth, by about a third and demolish a petrol station.

The plans were first submitted in February last year and were closely followed in May by an application from rival Tesco to build a store on neighbouring land off Angel Link.

A delay by Waveney District Council in making a decision on the applications led to both supermarkets lodging appeals for non determination to the planning inspectorate.

However, Anglia Regional Co-op later withdrew its appeal and submitted a duplicate proposal to Waveney.

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A public inquiry into proposals for a Tesco in Halesworth was held in Lowestoft in May this year. Supporters of the scheme said it would breathe new life into the town, while opponents feared it would destroy small, independent traders. Those against the scheme formed the Save Halesworth group.

In July it was revealed that the planning inspectorate had rejected the Tesco plans, saying they would have had a harmful impact on the retail character of the town centre and that it would be out of scale with the catchment area.

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Now Anglia Regional Co-op’s plans have been withdrawn. Jen Berry, of the Save Halesworth group, said she was relieved to hear the news.

“The Co-op is perfectly adequate as it is,” she said. “There wasn’t any need for a bigger store.

“With the Co-op and Focus, which sells organic products, and all the other local shops we don’t think we need anything else.”

But she added: “We are all temporarily relieved but everyone thinks Tesco will try again.”

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