Tesco gets green light to target town

CONTROVERSIAL plans to build a supermarket in the centre of a Suffolk market town are to go ahead after Government officials gave the proposals the green light.

CONTROVERSIAL plans to build a supermarket in the centre of a Suffolk market town are to go ahead after Government officials gave the proposals the green light.

Following years of uncertainty Hadleigh looks set to get a Tesco after a Whitehall inspector said a store should be built on the Brett Works site.

The retail giant first announced it wanted to build a supermarket in the town 10 years ago - a proposal which split the community.

But yesterday a Government report, which was published in response to Babergh District Council's Local Plan, backed proposals for a new development.


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Roy Smith, chairman of the Tesco Supporters Group in Hadleigh, welcomed the news. He said: “We are absolutely delighted. This is something we have wanted for seven years and when we had the referendum in the town 76% of people were in favour of a supermarket in Hadleigh.

“In that seven years there has been opposition from just a handful. The only contentious thing really has been the site. We always thought Brett Works, being central, was the best one.”

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However John Bloomfield, chairman of the Hadleigh Society and one of the founders of lobby group Campaign Against Another Supermarket Hadleigh (CAASH), said: “We will continue fighting. The principle reason we are opposed to a supermarket is the fact that, despite Tesco's claims, the effect on local businesses is usually catastrophic.”

The inspector's report also included a decision to retain vital village facilities, to prevent inappropriate developments in areas at risk from flooding and to keep free the site of any potential future Sudbury bypass.

Other plans to receive the thumbs up included a mixed development of housing, employment uses and community facilities at Chilton Woods, near Sudbury, the retention of the British Sugar site at Sproughton for employment uses and the use of the IP8 site at Pinewood for business development.

Rich Cooke, Babergh's acting head of planning policy and economic development, said “Babergh is pleased that our Local Plan has been given the 'thumbs up' by the Inspector. It has involved a considerable amount of work, including responding to the many thousands of submissions received form developers, parish and town councils, local groups and individuals.

“As it stands, this Local Plan will help Babergh achieve a sustainable balance between delivering an ambitious programme of new homes, including affordable homes, protecting and creating jobs and protecting and enhancing the environment.”

The inspector's report will be considered by Babergh's strategy committee on November 30 and by the full council on December 13 before the Local Plan is adopted in the summer of 2006.

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