BY RICHARD CORNWELL, Felixstowe editor
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
OPPONENTS have today pledged to fight proposals for a Tesco superstore all the way – fearing it could have a huge impact on the viability of many town centre shops.
The proposed development comprises:
■ A 30,000sq ft Tesco foodstore
■ 170 to 200 new homes
■ 17 business units
■ Three live/work units
■ Community building
■ Demolition of the rifle club and range
Consultation is now under way on the Walton Green Partnership’s bid for a 30,000sq ft supermarket as part of a mixed development on a 30-acre field in Walton High Street, Felixstowe.
The partnership – Tesco and landowners Trinity College, Cambridge – have been working on the controversial plans for three years.
The aim is for a scheme which provides “new homes as well as jobs, services and community facilities”. It is estimated that 250 to 300 new jobs could be provided.
Over the past few months a masterplan has been developed in conjunction with input from English Heritage and Suffolk Coastal planning officers.
“The vision for the mixed use scheme is to provide a high quality and sustainable mixed use environment that integrates into the existing fabric of Walton,” said the partnership.
“The food store is located close to the High Street to act as an ‘anchor’ in retail terms to draw more people to use the existing retail opportunities within Walton.”
The partnership says the store will claw back trade lost to Felixstowe by people travelling out of town to do their main shop and encourage people to shop local.
But opponents, including campaign group Felixstowe Walton Community First and Felixstowe Chamber of Trade, are deeply concerned that the store will have a huge impact on the resort’s town centre and shops in Walton High Street, cutting footfall, hitting business and leading to some shop closures.
Campaigners are meeting this week to discuss their battle plan with people having just a month to register objections.
Roy Gray, of the campaign group, said: “There are an awful lot of documents to go through and we are meeting this week to discuss the application.
“Then we will advise our supporters how to object and on what terms to be most effective.”