Felixstowe: Archaeologists start work at Tesco superstore site

BULLDOZERS and bricklayers may be some way off yet, but earthworks have started at the site of a proposed Tesco superstore at Felixstowe – archaeologists digging for artefacts.

The major dig is the first stage in the preparations for the 30,000sq ft store off Walton High Street.

More than 30 trenches have been dug across the 30-acre cornfield, an area close to a Roman settlement from nearly 2,000 years ago.

Excavations have only been under way for a few days and it is not yet known if there have been any significant finds.

Meanwhile, the Walton Green Partnership has confirmed that it still expects to submit its planning application for the superstore and 170 homes, business units, and community facilities, by the end of October or early November.

Tim Collins, a partner in Bidwells, agents for Trinity College, said: “My understanding is that we are still due to submit the planning application by the end of October, though that could drift by a couple of weeks and be early November.

“I will have an accurate assessment of the date next week when the planning team meets.

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“At this stage, reports are being completed but any fresh information or questions, or for example, the lack of feedback or a response from a statutory body, has a knock on effect on the work of several people in the team that could put the programme back.”

The partnership – landowners Trinity College, Cambridge, and Tesco – has already handed Suffolk Coastal council a retail impact assessment showing the effect the store would have on the town centre.

Objectors claim Tesco will take business from existing businesses and supermarkets in the town and will need a turnover of �750,000 a week to be viable, but the partnership expects most of its trade to come from those who travel out of town to shop and would not need to do so in future.

Action group Walton Felixstowe Community First (WFCF) is preparing its members to be ready to write letters of protest against the scheme as soon as it comes forward.

“The application will soon be lodged with Suffolk Coastal, and then the time will come for all our supporters to really make their opinions known, and their voices heard,” said a spokesman.

“When the time comes, we will contact all our members straight away and make sure they have all the details needed to write their objections.”