DIY store planned for Stowmarket

NEW moves to establish a DIY store in Stowmarket were today welcomed by the town's business community.An application to build a store in Prentice Road is currently being considered by Stowmarket Town Council.

NEW moves to establish a DIY store in Stowmarket were today welcomed by the town's business community.

An application to build a store in Prentice Road is currently being considered by Stowmarket Town Council.

It follows a similar bid, made in August last year, that was not determined.

But now developers Albourne Estates have come back with a fresh proposal, which also seeks allay concerns surrounding the previous bid.

The company has carried out detailed traffic and flooding surveys and concluded neither issue would have a significant impact on the scheme.

Denis Barnard, chairman of the town's chamber of commerce, welcomed the possible development and said: "I think it's a good move. The more choice we have the better.

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"It will stop us having to drive 14 miles to B&Q in Ipswich and that's a very good thing.

"And, importantly, it keeps money in the town and will create jobs."

Marilyn Finbow, a town trader and leader of the town council's planning committee, said: "Stowmarket definitely needs a DIY store.

"We need to encourage shoppers to stay in Stowmarket and at the moment we haven't got the right kind of DIY store.

"I will be supporting this application."

The site, currently unused scrubland, would include 96 car parking spaces and seek to draw on an estimated catchment population of nearly 40,000.

Developers, who have not yet revealed which store is hoping to move in, also hope to benefit from improved transport links from the new B1115 Relief Road planned for 2007.

Additional traffic management measures would also be imposed, which would limit the flow of two-way traffic and restrict deliveries to late nights.

David Pritchard, who is representing the developer, said: "We also don't think traffic would be a problem.

"The road will become a cul-de-sac when the new relief road is completed and our highways consultant does not believe it will have an adverse affect on traffic flows.

"The Environment Agency are now completely content with the application and are satisfied flooding would not be an issue."

What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or join the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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