Felixstowe: Objectors protest outside Tesco superstore exhibition

PLACARD-WAVING protesters made their views felt as developers showed off their latest proposals for a Tesco superstore at Felixstowe.

Developers say they have made significant changes to the lay-out of the proposed Walton Green project – to take into account residents’ views.

But objectors claim the majority of shopkeepers and many residents do not want the 30,000sq ft store because of the impact it could have on the town centre.

David Matson, a chartered town planner working with campaign group Walton Felixstowe Community First, said the size of the proposed store was equivalent to 84pc of the food shop space in the town centre and twice the floorspace that Suffolk Coastal says the town will need by 2025.

“This is the most important planning application to affect the town centre for 20 years and will reduce the footfall and the turnover,” he said.

The Walton Green Partnership’s plans for the Tesco, 180 homes, business units, allotments and community facilities are on display again today from 3pm to 7pm at the Felixstowe Trades and Labour Club, High Road West.

Tim Collins, a partner in Bidwells, agents for landowners Trinity College, Cambridge, which has formed the partnership with Tesco, said a lot of work had taken place on the design following earlier consultation.

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Frontages both sides of High Road had been moved back to create a green corridor, maintaining Walton’s separation from Trimley St Mary, keeping a countryside feel, and protecting heritage buildings.

The allotments had been expanded to provide a buffer for residents of Ascot Drive and Treetops, and the number of homes reduced.

Following talks with the chamber of trade, the employment provision had been altered to encourage a different mix of business.

The route of the link road between High Road and Candlet Road had been changed to prevent it being a cut through and it would be 20mph.

“The design is still very much open for discussion and we are still keen to hear people’s views on these revised plans,” he said.