Tesco plans 'will devastate' town

ENVIRONMENTAL campaigners have urged planners to “be bold” and throw out proposals for a new supermarket amid fears the development would signal the death knell of the local community.

Craig Robinson

ENVIRONMENTAL campaigners have urged planners to “be bold” and throw out proposals for a new supermarket amid fears the development would signal the death knell of the local community.

Suffolk Preservation Society (SPS) has warned Waveney District Council that approving the bid for a Tesco store on Angel Link site in Halesworth would have an “absolutely devastating” impact independent retailers and producers.

They warn the supermarket would dominate the town's skyline and the extra traffic would bring roads to a standstill.


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Dr Mike Coleman, chairman of SPS, said: “This proposed store is patently wrong in so many ways.

“The sheer bulk of building which Tesco is proposing would have a devastating effect on the town, dwarfing everything else around it and detracting from the beauty of Halesworth's precious listed buildings and heritage.

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“On top of that, such a huge supermarket would undoubtedly sound the death knell for our local retailers. The impact threatens to be absolutely devastating to the quality providers in the town and equally kill off most of the few remaining village stores too.”

The society also claims the proposal is contrary to Waveney District Council's own local plan, which earmarks the proposed site for mixed use, including new housing.

“It will be nothing more than an enormous blot on what is now some of the most beautiful townscape which Suffolk has to offer,” Dr Coleman added.

Nick Gellatly, from Tesco, said they had spent a lot of time making sure the proposals were right for Halesworth.

“Like the preservation society we want the town to thrive,” he said. “People tell us Halesworth needs to move forward with the times and that it must have better shopping choice.

“This is a small store which will offer a good value shop and bring people back to town; that will benefit other businesses too and there will be around 200 new jobs.

“Far from being 'dominant', the store will sit below the Co-op and surrounding buildings.

“It has been designed sympathetically with wood, natural materials and the latest energy saving technology to create a green shop - that's something we all should support.”

Waveney District Council is set to make a decision on the plans in mid-August.

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