Tesco expansion could be refused

RETAILING giant Tesco insist a £1million expansion at their store on the edge of a market town is the right way forward - despite the controversy that surrounds the plans.

John Howard

RETAILING giant Tesco insist a £1million expansion at their store on the edge of a market town is the right way forward - despite the controversy that surrounds the plans.

Mid Suffolk District Council is considering whether to grant permission for the company to develop its operation on the new Cedars Park estate close to Stowmarket, near the A14.

More than £1m would be invested into the store, creating more than 50 jobs - but the move is dividing residents.


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Tesco hopes to build an extension, a new mezzanine floor with a coffee shop and toilets, as well as developing existing areas to increase the gross overall size from 4,049 square metres to 5,562.

The firm argues that the current store is cramped and crowded and that can force shoppers to travel out to Ipswich or Bury St Edmunds.

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A spokesman for the retailer said yesterday: “We are still very confident that the plan we have put forward is the right one.

“From our point of view the sooner this is debated the better, we just want to crack on, but are in the council's hands. We are still waiting for a committee date from the council and believe it will be next month.”

But at the council there is a feeling amongst some councillors that the proposals could be recommended for refusal by planners.

John Matthissen, a district councillor from Great Finborough, near Stowmarket, said: “I would support the Mid Suffolk District Council policy to strengthen the town centre, by directing any retail expansion to be in or next to the heart of the community.”

Some residents and traders are fearful of the impact on the smaller independent retailers, as a number of long established businesses have shut up shop.

But others say the current superstore is simply not big enough to meet shoppers' needs and the Cedars Park Residents' Association has supported the move.

A spokeswoman for the district council said the planning application is still being considered and no decision has yet been reached.

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