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Suffolk: No new Tesco superstores, but future of three controversial sites unclear

12:30 02 July 2014

Never to leave the drawing board - an artist

Never to leave the drawing board - an artist's impression of the proposedTesco Walton Store

Archant

Retail giant Tesco has confirmed that it will not go ahead with any of the new superstores it planned for Suffolk until last year – but there are few clues about what will happen to the land they had earmarked for them.

The company has confirmed that it will not be going ahead with plans for a 30,000 square foot store at Walton Green near Felixstowe – earlier this year a planning application for the site was turned down by Suffolk Coastal and Tesco have said they are not currently looking to build on that site.

The abandonment of the Felixstowe proposal follows on from the decision to abandon plans for a new store at Grafton Way in Ipswich and Babergh Council’s decision to refuse permission for a new store at Brett Works in Hadleigh.

Tesco did not own the land at Felixstowe, that is part of the Trinity College estate, but it does own the land in Ipswich and Hadleigh.

Both pieces of land are now up for sale – although there is little sign of any prospective buyer on the horizon.

An official statement from the company said: “We’re continuing to investigate the options for our Grafton Way and Brett Works sites and will keep the local community updated.”

Property experts expect the company to hang on to the land in the hope that its value will increase as the economic recovery gathers strength.

Ipswich council leader David Ellesmere said he was very keen to see something happen at the Grafton Way site.

He said: “We always felt a large superstore there was not on and the company eventually came to the same conclusion – especially when the cost of road changes was taken into consideration.

“We would like to see a mixed development there with homes and a few smaller shops, but that would not be as valuable for Tesco at this time so it could take a time to see development.”

The proposal for a supermarket at Brett Works in Hadleigh was turned down by Babergh planners last year after a 15-year battle by Tesco.

The company eventually raised the white flag and admitted defeat – and put the site up for sale.

Hadleigh councillor Brian Riley, who is heading a group trying to find a new use for the Brett Works site, said it was important to work with the company – but it had been asked to make sure the site was secure.

He said: “There are a number of possible uses, including new units for high-quality small businesses and community use but that all depends on Tesco selling the site for development and we don’t know when that will happen.”

At Walton Green Tesco does not own the land, which has been earmarked for housing. Ironically this is one area where the company could eventually have a presence, albeit in a different form.

The original proposal was for a new supermarket alongside 200 homes. As housing land the site could eventually hold 400-500 homes, and these would be expected to include a small neighbourhood shopping centre.

This would almost certainly include a small supermarket, of the size that Tesco has been opening across the area – so it might yet have a presence in that part of Felixstowe.

7 comments

  • Please no homes on Grafton Way!!! Its next to a river so will multiply up the costs of it.. (its not going to be amazing riverside views) and like the Modus development and surrounding areas that are increasingly being included within the "Ipswich Waterfront" definition... this is also not the waterfront.

    Report this comment

    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Thursday, July 3, 2014

  • I can't comment on the other 2 stores but the loss of the Walton Green store was a tremendous loss to Felixstowe. The usual short-sighted Nimbyism from bored apathists has left Felixstowe now with just one proposal which is the daft and totally unrealistic scheme over Felixstowe Railway station! Meanwhile Walton has now started to get more traffic from the new Academy in the very same area that would have had the Tesco (which would have supplied necessary short term parking to keep roads clear!). Felixstowe meanwhile festers on with a High Street populated by cheapo tat shops, charity shops, banks and.....what? Serious shoppers still do bulk shopping elsewhere, like Martlesham and Warren Heath. Our Planners excel themselves sometimes....

    Report this comment

    Disbeliever

    Wednesday, July 2, 2014

  • Nationally and locally the tide seems to have turned against supermarkets like Tesco, so this is simply a realistic acceptance of that fact by the company itself and the various councils. Neil's comments don't take account of the demise of the superstore and don't even make sense.

    Report this comment

    Andrew Watson

    Wednesday, July 2, 2014

  • Wishful thinking perhaps, but the land area at Grafton Way is very similar to the Mint Quarter - which is I understand owned by (and rotting away under) NCP. If a deal could be struck for NCP to "exchange" sites then there could be benefits for all parties. The water-front and town centre (south) needs quality, welcoming, well lit and easily accessible parking; which provides the catalyst for more shoppers and in turn more shops. A "top feed" multi-storey car park design would allow cars to access and queue with minimal congestion to the busy Stoke Bridge roundabouts. The Mint Quarter would provide Tesco with a piece of land with far greater flexibility to present a revised business application; or better still to sell on for retail; or part residentialpart retail development.

    Report this comment

    Mark Ling

    Wednesday, July 2, 2014

  • Suppose it would be too much to ask to have a bit of greenery around grafton way, or does everything have to be sold for profit now with our council?

    Report this comment

    Tedbundy

    Wednesday, July 2, 2014

  • No to superstores, but it doesn't rule out "Metro's" and "Express".

    Report this comment

    Ipswich Man

    Wednesday, July 2, 2014

  • Well done Ipswich again.. Instead of having something there creating business jobs and income, we now have another empty baron space, they want to guid MORE houses on, when there are half done jobs all over.

    Report this comment

    Neil (Suffolk)

    Wednesday, July 2, 2014

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

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