Business fury at giant Tesco plan

A GOBSMACKED newsagent owner today reacted in disbelief to proposals for a giant supermarket in the town centre.

A GOBSMACKED newsagent owner today reacted in disbelief to proposals for a giant supermarket in the town centre.

As revealed in The Evening Star yesterday Tesco has submitted a planning application to build a store larger than the one at Copdock on the former B&Q site in the town centre.

Just a mile away from the colossal development proposed in Grafton Way lies the independent Bourne End Stores in Wherstead Road, which is run by Manish Patel.

Mr Patel said: “I might as well shut my door now. It will affect all the independent businesses in a two-mile radius.

“The town centre is declining anyway and this is not going to do it any favours. I don't seriously believe there is any need for another superstore in the town.”

Spenhill Regeneration, a subsidiary of Tesco, has submitted a planning application which includes 86,000sqf (approximately) store, 660 parking spaces, up to 12 other retail units, 100 residential units, two hotels as well as a fitness and beauty facility.

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The design of the site, which stretches along the river front from Princes Street Bridge to Stoke Bridge, is still subject to change and discussions with Ipswich Borough Council are ongoing.

However, deliberations over the finer detail are of no concern to Mr Patel.

The 46-year-old, who also runs the Shotley Post Office, said: “The development will not have any positive factors at all. I hope the planning officers look at it very seriously before granting it permission.

“If they build something that big it would cause severe traffic congestion. I can't see people approving of something that size in the town centre.”

Nick Gellatly, a spokesman for Spenhill Regeneration, said the plans include a flood defence system and the company will be working with the Highway Authority to look at ways of improving traffic.

He added: “The huge demand for more shopping in Ipswich is well documented. Without more and better shops in and around the town centre, people from across the region will continue to choose Norwich and Colchester rather than come in to Ipswich.”

Will your business be affected by a new Tesco in the town centre? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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