Supermarket plans opposed by council
PLANS for a new supermarket in Halesworth have received a blow after the town council decided to oppose the application.Albourne Estates submitted plans for the new store on land between Saxons Way and The Thoroughfare last June, and Waveney District Council planners will decide if it gets the go-ahead in the next few months.
PLANS for a new supermarket in Halesworth have received a blow after the town council decided to oppose the application.
Albourne Estates submitted plans for the new store on land between Saxons Way and The Thoroughfare last June, and Waveney District Council planners will decide if it gets the go-ahead in the next few months.
But Halesworth Town Council, which has held a number of public meetings on the proposal, has decided to object to the development which has divided opinion in the area.
Those opposed to the new store believe it will have an adverse impact on the town's small shops and businesses while supporters think a new supermarket will help attract extra visitors.
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Following a public inquiry held three years ago a supermarket of 2,000 sq m was approved on the site but the developers want to see a larger store built which would include an underground car park for shoppers.
Alan Holzer, vice-chairman of Halesworth Town Council, said there were significant differences between the two supermarket applications.
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"In giving his decision to allow the first store, the planning inspector said the site was suitable for a supermarket of up to 2,000 square metres.
"At 3,200 square metres this latest proposal is considerably larger and we have to treat it as a new application," he said.
Mr Holzer said councillors considered the impact such a large store would have on the market town.
"We do not believe that having a store of this size is compatible with plans to sustain the small market towns of north Suffolk.
"There are also significant problems regarding access to the store and with large lorries making regular deliveries so we felt we could not support the proposal," he said.
The decision to oppose the application was not unanimous as some councillors, including long-standing member Eddie Hyde-Clarke, felt that a new supermarket would benefit the town.
Mr Hyde-Clarke said it would be better for a new store to be situated in the centre of Halesworth rather than on the edge of town as more people would visit both the supermarket and other businesses.
A spokesman for the developers said yesterday that the proposed new store would have a similar sales area to the supermarket approved earlier.
"Much of the additional area is taken up with extra storage space and providing better staff and customer facilities.
"The actual sales area will be roughly about the same as for the store that was approved by the planning inspector," he said.
It is understood that the developers are still in discussion with highway and district council officials over a number of issues including access arrangements and flooding safeguards for the new store.