TK Maxx and HomeSense withdrawn proposals for new stores at Martlesham Heath Retail Park

A computer-generated image of the previously proposed TK Maxx store submitted for Beardmore Park at

A computer-generated image of the previously proposed TK Maxx store submitted for Beardmore Park at Martlesham Heath. - Credit: Archant

Controversial proposals to build two new stores at a retail park in Martlesham Heath have been withdrawn.

Fears over traffic congestion around Martlesham and a loss of trade in Woodbridge were raised after it was announced in January that clothing company TK Maxx and homeware firm HomeSense could move in to Beardmore Park.

The scheme would have created around 70 jobs but the application has now been withdrawn, according to the Suffolk Coastal planning website.

The stores would have generated an annual turnover of around £8.27million, a report submitted to Suffolk Coastal council estimated.

Geoff Holdcroft, the mayor of Woodbridge, said he was “surprised” the application has been withdrawn.

He said: “A number of people will be happy the application has been withdrawn, but on the other hand a number of people were in favour of it coming there to provide a good range of quality clothing at an affordable price.

“Yet there was concern of course of it dragging people away from Woodbridge.

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“There are two sides to the argument with this one and it is only right and proper that the south area development management committee at Suffolk Coastal take a look at the evidence if it (the application) does come back.”

The project, put forward by LondonMetric Saturn Ltd which owns Martlesham Heath Retail Park, would have involved the demolition of a terrace of three units occupied by Conway Pine, Topps Tiles and Lings Garden, leaving Seapets, Brantano and M&S Simply Food.

Lings would have taken over one of the new stores.

Woodbridge Town Council had recommended refusal because it feared the scheme would harm trading in the riverside town.

Martlesham Parish Council strongly objected to the development over concerns it would increase traffic congestion and claimed there would be insufficient parking for customers and employees.

Mike Irwin, chairman of Martlesham Parish Council, said the application withdrawal was “good news”.

He said: “We had nothing necessarily against TK Maxx; our objections were to do with congestion. It is very difficult to see how that could have been solved. There is just not the land there for car parking.”

TK Maxx, HomeSense and LondonMetric did not respond to requests for comment over the weekend.