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Felixstowe: Superstore could get go-ahead despite being against policy

PUBLISHED: 09:00 19 December 2012

An artist's impression of the view of the new Walton Green Tesco at Felixstowe from Walton High Street, showing the cafe and part of the community building - plans are expected later this month or early January.

An artist's impression of the view of the new Walton Green Tesco at Felixstowe from Walton High Street, showing the cafe and part of the community building - plans are expected later this month or early January.

Archant

PLANNERS say that although proposals for the new Walton Green superstore in Felixstowe are against policy, that does not necessarily mean they will be rejected.

Campaigners are hoping that the use of a greenfield site will go against the project – especially as Suffolk Coastal wants brownfield, previously used land, developed before farmers’ fields.

The Walton Green Partnership – landowners Trinity College, Cambridge, and Tesco – expect to submit their planning application for the 30,000sq ft supermarket and 180 homes, plus a community centre, allotments and business units, by the end of the year.

Documents will be included showing that they have investigated every other possible site, including brownfield land, in Felixstowe and the Trimley villages, but no others were suitable for the project.

A spokesman for Suffolk Coastal said the plans for the 30-acre field in Walton High Street do not comply with current planning policies.

“The proposed site is contrary to local and national planning policies but until the relevant evidence to support the application is provided by Tesco it will not be possible for councillors or officers to come to a conclusion about the final merits of the scheme,” said a council spokesman.

It is perfectly possible for councillors to go against policy, particularly if they feel the need for the development is satisfactorily argued.

Another problem facing councillors is that the new Felixstowe area action plan – which will identify land uses for the next 15 years – is still two years away from completion and adoption, and that a government inspector might on appeal feel the land should be developed.

In addition, government is looking to kick-start the economy with development and not to stand in the way of projects, particularly housing.

Biggest concern of opponents of the Walton Green project is the potential impact on the shops in Walton High Street and Felixstowe town centre.

4 comments

  • Yes we want it and need it to keep the people into our town. come and join the facebook page Say YES to Tesco in Felixstowe with nearly 300 supporters

    Report this comment

    Antony Perkins

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012

  • And what "policy" is that then which the plans are going against? Councillors are well capable of interpreting their own planning guidelines and policies when it suits them, and clearly it is suiting them to do so in this case. Personally I think it is wonderful that so many competitors are keen to charm the money from our pockets, and I fervently hope that they can achieve their developments with as little pettyfogging bureaucratic interference as possible from our elected local representatives. What worries me is that the creation of yet more planning hoops for the developers to negotiate could up the ante expected from the developers.

    Report this comment

    cwayconslt

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012

  • Unfortunately the planning system is so biased in favour of big business that in essence the council can't afford to refuse it. If they do, Tesco will take them to a planning tribunal which will rule in their favour in every case and they'll then hammer the local taxpayers with a massive bill for costs. So be prepared for dozens of local businesses going bust and hundreds of workers being thrown on the scrapheap for the sake of Tesco's greed.

    Report this comment

    beerlover

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012

  • Will be interesting to see why the predominantly brownfield site by the station is not suitable for them when the planning application goes in.

    Report this comment

    Alan Smith

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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