Anxious wait in Tesco bid

Bosses at retail giant Tesco face an anxious wait during the election campaign to find out if they will get permission to go ahead with their new Ipswich superstore.

Their application has been sent to the Government Office of the East of England (Go-East) to be studied by civil servants before a final decision is made.

This has prompted Ipswich Central – which represents retailers and other businesses in the town centre – to urge the government to “call-in” the plans and force a public inquiry.

Tesco does not expect any final decision to be announced during the general election campaign, and are unsure about when an announcement will be made by the government.

Nick Gellatly from Tesco said: “At this stage we have no involvement. The council has sent all the relevant documents to Go-East and we will become involved only if their officials want clarifications about any of the points.

“We don’t know how long this process will take. We obviously hope the decision will be made as soon as possible so we can get underway with the project.”

He said he was not expecting a decision to be taken by civil servants during the general election campaign.

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Go-East can either endorse the borough’s decision to allow planning permission for the �70 million development in Grafton Way or it can “call-in” the application which would mean it would go to a public inquiry for a final decision.

Go-East cannot throw out the planning application or order the borough to reconsider it.

Tesco hopes to start work on the project during the autumn and have the superstore open by Christmas 2011.

It hopes to complete the project – including new hotels and flats – by the end of 2012.

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