Town centre scheme looks set to go ahead

By Rebecca SheppardA PLAN for a temporary garden centre, more parking and a shop extension on a controversial town site looks set to get the go-ahead.

By Rebecca Sheppard

A PLAN for a temporary garden centre, more parking and a shop extension on a controversial town site looks set to get the go-ahead.

The Buyright site in Calais Street, Hadleigh, was earmarked for a new supermarket in the town before the blueprint for the Local Plan was changed to mark the Brett Works site as the preferred location.

Babergh District Council will now consider an application for planning permission for a two-storey side extension to the building, which will give space for a coffee shop, extra warehouse and storage space, offices and customer toilets.

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It also proposes to use land for two years to form an outside garden centre as well as add 105 more car parking spaces to the existing 351.

The planning application raises the site's role in the contentious issue of where a supermarket should be located in Hadleigh, which will be the subject of a Local Plan Inquiry in the autumn.

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It says: "The proposed two-storey extension does not affect the former allocation for a supermarket in the emerging Local Plan.

"Whilst the proposed garden centre is on land which would affect the former supermarket allocation, permission for the garden centre is sought for 24 months only.

"It would not prejudice a supermarket beyond that period in the event that the Local Plan Inquiry concludes that this is the appropriate site for a new food supermarket."

Councillors will consider the application on Wednesday at a development committee meeting starting at 9.30am, along with a letter from a local resident concerned that the proposals will bring the store's delivery area closer to private homes.

In a supporting statement, Q D Stores, the applicant, said that the plans would enhance the Calais Street approach into Hadleigh, would increase the non-food range on offer in the town as well as cut the number of shopping trips to other centres. It also claims the proposals will reduce the frequency of HGV movements and speed up the delivery process.

Officers have recommended that planning permission be granted subject to conditions.

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