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Co-op set for Store Wars triumph

PUBLISHED: 12:25 25 September 2001 | UPDATED: 10:34 03 March 2010

Hadleigh was today set to get a new Co-op supermarket after the government threw out proposals for two other stores in the town.

The news came after proposals to build a Tesco store in the town and to expand the town's existing Buyright store were thrown out.

Lead for page 15 main town…..

By Paul Geater Political Editor . . .paul.geater@ecng.co.uk

HADLEIGH was today set to get a new town centre Co-op supermarket.

The news came after the government rejected proposals to build a Tesco store in the town – and threw out an application to expand the town's existing Buyright store.

The Tesco proposal, which would have seen a new store built in the centre of the town, was turned down because of the damage it would cause to Hadleigh's conservation area.

The Buyright proposal was turned down by the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government, and the Regions because it was on the outskirts of the town and would have damaged the shopping centre.

The Ipswich and Norwich Co-op was given planning permission to extend its town centre store two years ago.

Today Co-op assistant general manager Bill Knowles said it would now be looking to go ahead with these plans over the next few months.

"So far as we are concerned this is good news. We shall start making detailed plans soon," he said.

"Our plans will see a supermarket of about 12,000 square feet in the heart of the town. The Buyright proposal would have had a supermarket of about 13,000 and Tesco's was for 14,000 square feet – so there wasn't much to choose between them in that respect.

"This will be a full town centre supermarket, similar in size and scale to our Solar store in Leiston. But we haven't yet decided whether it will be called Co-op or Solar," he said.

Officials and members at Babergh Council said it was essential that a new supermarket was built in Hadleigh.

"About 85 per cent of the money spent on groceries by Hadleigh residents is spent outside the town," said Babergh's head of planning Richard Watson.

"That isn't good for the viability of the town centre, and it isn't good from a transport point of view if people are making 20-mile round trips to get their groceries," he said.

Originally the council officers had recommended that the Tesco plan should be approved and the Buyright plan rejected.

Local councillors rejected this advice, and voted for the exact opposite.

Now neither proposal has been allowed – and the Ipswich Co-op looks like winning through the middle.

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