May 19 2013 Latest news:
BY RICHARD CORNWELL, Felixstowe editor
Friday, February 22, 2013
PEOPLE wanting to protest over proposals for a new Tesco superstore at Felixstowe have just one week left to give their views.
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 closes on February 28 though it is not yet known when Suffolk Coastal, which may seek independent analysis of the submitted retail impact assessment, will make a final decision on the development.
Campaigners are calling on residents to make their views known and to write a strong letter of protest to councillors letting them know how they feel about the project for the 30-acre Walton Green site in Walton High Street.
While Tesco says the 30,000sq ft supermarket will claw back millions of pounds spent outside the resort at edge-of-Ipswich stores and give the town centre a boost, those against are not convinced.
Action group Walton Felixstowe Community First believes the superstore will have the opposite effect, causing large scale job losses, closure of businesses, and traffic chaos.
Roy Gray, of WFCF, said: “It’s been a huge task to deliver leaflets to every household but we believe this is a really important issue and people should know what is happening and have their say.
“Although the council might not make a decision for months yet, the chance to give a view closes on February 28.”
WFCF said people’s objections must be based on planning law, otherwise they will not be considered, and its leaflet gives details of what topics to cover.
The group fears the project will create traffic congestion, especially with the new Felixstowe Academy entrance opposite, lead to noise and light pollution Ascot Drive, High Road and Treetops residents, and is against policy, using a greenfield site and grade one farmland.
Its biggest concerns though are the potential impact on the town centre with Tesco already admitting it will deprive town centre stores of £4m in takings.
But Tesco said its new store will also bring between £2m and £3m to the town centre through people doing their food shop at Walton Green and then going into Hamilton Road to buy other day-to-day household items they would have bought out-of-town.