OBJECTORS fighting proposals for a Tesco superstore at Felixstowe have today labelled the scheme “a repellent thing” which will cause “permanent damage” to the town centre.

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Tesco has admitted that its 30,000sq ft supermarket at Walton Green will take at least £4 million a year of people’s spending in the town centre.

Of that sum, £1.7m would be from its own Tesco Metro, with the rest from Iceland, Marks and Spencer and the Co-op.

The rest of the store’s £19m turnover – way down on the average takings expected at similar sized stores it owns across the country – would come from Morrisons, expected to lose £4.1m a year, and edge-of-Ipswich stores, from which it reckons it would gain £10.2m, including a sizeable amount from its own Martlesham store.

Tesco does not believe its development of a 30-acre field in Walton High Street would have a significant adverse impact on the town centre – and claims it would not force any supermarkets to close.

What Tesco says . . .

Many people in Felixstowe are now doing their main shop out-of-town – a habit which could wreck the town centre in the long-term.

Town planning and development consultants Alsop Verrill, in their planning and retail assessment of the Walton Green scheme for Tesco and Trinity College, Cambridge, say this is a trend which a new Tesco could help to reverse.

The company said there is a “clearly emerging trend” showing that those using Felixstowe town centre for their main food shopping are the elderly, those without children and those without cars, and these would probably stay loyal to these shops.

Families and adults though used Waitrose, Tesco at Martlesham, Sainsbury and Asda – and could be persuaded to shop closer to home.

“A troubling by-product of more and more people doing their main food shopping significantly away from Felixstowe is the growing familiarity and acclimatisation of this habit and what might be seen as a disinclination to do any or much shopping close to home,” said the report.

“The age profiles of those shopping in Ipswich are typically younger than those that shop in Felixstowe. This suggests that younger generations will grow up believing that this is the way to shop.

“Unless Felixstowe improves its own shopping offer in a way that matches the expectations of people shopping out of town, the drift from local shopping will continue, to the long-term detriment of the town centre and its businesses.”

A new superstore would claw back money to the town by meeting the day to day needs of its population with the spin-off benefits of people also doing other shopping locally, too.

In fact, the company says its new store will 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.

The Walton Felixstowe Community First action group – which is fighting the development – disagrees.

Its planning expert, David Matson said the Tesco scheme was “a repellent thing” which would cause “permanent damage” to the town centre.

“Tesco ask us to believe that they wish to invest in a store that will achieve 62pc of their national average turnover per sq ft. This is either bad business or not credible,” he said.

“Tesco forecasts the new underperforming store will divert £4m of town centre trade. Should it achieve closer to average trading levels, significant further trade will be sucked from Felixstowe town centre, reducing footfall and turnover for all town centre businesses.”

Give us your views – add your comments below.

10 comments

  • If Felixstowe refuses this, thats probably the last nail in the flimsy coffin! The Shared Space fiasco in Hamilton Road has made parking even more problematic and apart from a few shops, most are charity, coffee or banking. My shopping these days is mainly Tesco Martlesham, with trips to town for certain specialist things. The only thing that will change is for Martlesham read Walton. Felixstowe just does not have an inspiring shopping centre, when will people realise that? By the way Anthony Perkins, I've searched for that Facebook page but can't find it...any clues??

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    Weary Traveller

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • It's not only about the town centre shops. Felixstowe will become congested during the day, and have the noise of deliveries by night. If you can walk to the superstore then you'll be living next to a mammoth car park. If you don't have a car you'll soon wish nobody else did also. The asthma rates in all the schools will soar. And Tesco will rip up top-grade farmland to do all this. Time to say no.

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    David

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013

  • We don't need a new tesco what we need is more investment in our town centre. Felixstowe is a seaside town and alot of business rely alot on day trippers and holiday makers and they aren't going to come to Felixstowe because we have a new supermarket and alot of boarded up empty shops in town. There are lot of families who really for there living for jobs they have in town and other shops in Felixstowe and that matters. Tescos don't care about Felixstowe and it people all they care about is making as much money as possible. Most people now do most of food shopping on-line so it is not if they can buy from tesco if they want as we have two not that far from us which deliver. And when you think about it isn't that better for the enviorment as one small truck which say delivers say 30 plus shoppers goods to 30 plus extra car journeys.

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    Jacqueline Norlem

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • Of the 4 comments that have been given how many of you live in Felixstowe, do not have a car, and walk into Felixstowe. We do not need this store. It will destroy Walton and Felixstowe. We need to make our voices heard. Weary Traveller why do you need another Trsco when you got to Martelsham. Answer please. So many towns are dying because of these big stores.

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    biggles the pilot

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • I really don't care if they come to felixstowe or not, as I won't be shopping there. Its all smoke and mirrors with their so called bargains. Since we stopped going to out of town supermarkets, our grocery bill has halved, we take a nice leisurely walk to the butchers on high road, into town to the greengrocersfishmongers and the odd visit during the week to the bakery for bread. Savers or lidl for most household stuff once a month or so. Would hardly call it being ladened down with tons of packaging either. I support the local shops, do you?

    Report this comment

    Tifflet

    Thursday, February 7, 2013

  • I dont know where some are you are from and what age group you are but this is a town not a villiage. Tesco would be great for our town. Our town center is rubbish always will be with many shops allready closing down. Unless you want a coffee some where to eat. Or buy used things in a charity shop. On the whole the town needs improving big time with a varity for the young and old not just one age group. WEARY TRAVELLER if you search on facebook for a page called say YES to Tesco in Felixstowe. if not try this link https:www.facebook.com#!groups339074659520869 Come on people get behind this before its to late

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    Antony Perkins

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013

  • What great shops are there in the town centre in Felixstowe? People are making a big deal out of this the town centre has been dead for a long time.

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    NOEXCUSE

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • I agree with NO EXCUSE what great shops do we have none town will always be rubbish even with or without a new Tesco wouldnt make any difference at all. Need to get with the times this whole town needs improveing. if you agree with the new walton green Tesco. Come and join our facebook page say YES to Tesco in Felixstowe we need people to get behind this. And have there say

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    Antony Perkins

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • To answer Biggles, I drive to Martlesham for primarily because its the nearest point where I can shop easily, park easily and get the goods, choice and Products I want. If the Walton store offers the same, I'll switch! If I and others do that we switch some of our "spend" back to the Felixstowe area. Like most today I would dearly love to turn the clock back and have a thriving High Street in every town catering for all needs. Sadly the world has changed, and so have shopping habits. People often travel longer distances between work and home, they often work shifts. Both husband and wife work, plus have to collectdeliver kids. Time seems so much more precious, rightly or wrongly. When I was a lad my Mum shopped daily (in Felixstowe!) on her bike. Today its a totally seperate story and we have to accept that. If Felixstowe cannot adapt and embrace.........

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    Weary Traveller

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • You can't force town centres not to evolve by taking away peoples choices. I really think small shop owners live on cloud cuckoo land - people don't like shopping, on the whole - they would rather do it on line and where they can't do that drive to somewhere they can park safely, close by, and where everything is available under one roof at low prices and its quick and easy.

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    Sam

    Monday, February 4, 2013

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

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