Felixstowe: Business park better than a Tesco at Walton Green
LAND which has been earmarked for a Tesco superstore should be used for an enterprise park which could create more than twice as many jobs, according to traders.
Shopkeepers say the town centre is struggling at the moment – and the last thing businesses need is competition from a new 30,000 sq ft out-of-town supermarket.
Consultants identified the Walton Green site in Walton High Street as a possible location for an enterprise park as an alternative to the port-related industry on which the town relies for employment.
Rachel Cronin, from Felixstowe Chamber of Trade, said it was estimated a business park could create 600 to 900 jobs – significantly more than the 300 predicted at Tesco.
“These could be quality businesses that stop the town relying so much on the port but also enable people educated in this town an opportunity to stay in this town and make it a vibrant place in the future,” she said.
“Because of the economic situation, an enterprise park might not be an opportunity at this time, but if Tesco are allowed to build here it takes away an opportunity for the future.”
The Walton Green Partnership – landowners Trinity College, Cambridge, and Tesco – believe a new store would be mainly used by people who currently travel to Tesco Martlesham.
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“A new food store in Walton would not stop people visiting the shops in Felixstowe. It would stock mainly food products and would not compete directly with most of the existing businesses in Felixstowe and Walton,” said the partnership.
“A new food store in Walton would encourage local residents to do their shopping closer to home, which in turn creates opportunities for local businesses to capture spin-off trade.”