Town watchdog angry over superstore land

THE SUFFOLK Preservation Society has called on a district council to consult residents about other possible uses of land earmarked for a new supermarket.

THE SUFFOLK Preservation Society has called on a district council to consult residents about other possible uses of land earmarked for a new supermarket.

Babergh District Council yesterdaygave the green light to the Brett Works site in Hadleigh for retail development as part of its local plan.

Shopping giant Tesco has already submitted two planning applications for a new store on the site, which have been met with strong opposition by residents.

As well as the new store, Tesco hopes to create space for more than 200 cars and a small planted area.


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But Richard Ward, director of the Suffolk Preservation Society, has written to the district council expressing his concerns.

In the letter sent to the council before yesterday's meeting , Mr Ward called for the council to fully consult the community about other possible uses of the land.

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He also asked the authority to make it clear if it will use Compulsory Purchase Order powers to speed the development along.

Speaking to the EADT yesterday, Mr Ward added: "Lets have all the information available to the community - and that must include a list of other things that the Brett Works site could be used for.

"There is a whole raft of options that need to be explored. The other issue is the big issue of how the Brett Works site could be put forward for development, given that there are a number of landowners who are against it.

Mr Ward said: "We don't seem to have all the facts on the table. If that is the case, then the real place for this issue to be debated is at the local plan inquiry later this year.

"We accept that a new supermarket in the town is needed - the question is how and when that comes about.

"We just hope that the district council give the people of Hadleigh the opportunity to comment on all aspects of the site."

After the meeting Jan Byrne, chairman of the Hadleigh Society, which has collected 1,262 signatures on a petition against the supermarket being built at Brett Works, said she was "disappointed."

She added: "Now Brett Works is in the plan we can lodge objections to it. The next step is that Babergh will hear the application, so it's still all to play for and the fight continues.

"These last few years have been like a see-saw - one day we are up and another, after a meeting, we are down.

"There is no despondency in this though - disappointment maybe, but no despondency."

A spokesman for Babergh district council said that the planning applications were still being prepared and analysed by officers, but are likely to go before the development committee in the spring.

He added: "The local plan inquiry in September will be the final word on the issue."

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