Tesco set for Halesworth talks

SUPERMARKET giant Tesco is meeting with community representatives in Halesworth to discuss its proposals for the town.In February the EADT revealed the supermarket had purchased the site between The Thoroughfare and Saxon's Way from property developer Albourne Estates Plc.

Mark Lord

SUPERMARKET giant Tesco is meeting with community representatives in Halesworth to discuss its proposals for the town.

In February the EADT revealed the supermarket had purchased the site between The Thoroughfare and Saxon's Way from property developer Albourne Estates Plc.

Planning permission to create a supermarket and associated car parking on the 2,000 sq m site was granted in 2002.

If Tesco was to build a supermarket on the site then it would mean the businesses currently occupying the land would be lost as the buildings would have to be demolished to make way for the new store.

Speaking last month Tesco's corporate affairs manager Michael Kissman said although there are planning permissions in place there are details still to be discussed. He promised that before moving ahead with development Tesco would consult with the town.

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He has now confirmed that he and other colleagues are meeting with groups in Halesworth to discuss the site's future.

“We have a commitment to consult with the public,” he said. “We are the new landlords and we are listening to residents needs.”

Resident Jane Leighton, who objects to the possibility of a second supermarket in Halesworth, appealed to residents and community leaders to oppose any Tesco store plans.

She said: “Tesco already has a large store in Beccles, nine miles away. And it delivers to the door in Halesworth. So why does Tesco need to build a store that could displace local businesses in Halesworth? Local people, yet again, can make it plain that we prefer to shop locally and at the existing supermarket.

“However, our elected representatives have a greater opportunity to influence the outcome. The company has said that it will consult with relevant council bodies about the development of the land.

“Our councillors can help maintain Halesworth's harmony and independence by persuading Tesco to consider other options for the land.”

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