Felixstowe: Tesco admits new Walton Green superstore would take £4 million a year from town centre

Tesco Walton Store

Tesco Walton Store - Credit: Archant

OBJECTORS fighting proposals for a Tesco superstore at Felixstowe have today labelled the scheme “a repellent thing” which will cause “permanent damage” to the town centre.

A new Tesco superstore at Walton Green, Felixstowe, would take at least £4m a year from the town cen

A new Tesco superstore at Walton Green, Felixstowe, would take at least £4m a year from the town centre. - Credit: Archant

Tesco has admitted that its 30,000sq ft supermarket at Walton Green will take at least £4 million a year of people’s spending in the town centre.

Of that sum, £1.7m would be from its own Tesco Metro, with the rest from Iceland, Marks and Spencer and the Co-op.

The rest of the store’s £19m turnover – way down on the average takings expected at similar sized stores it owns across the country – would come from Morrisons, expected to lose £4.1m a year, and edge-of-Ipswich stores, from which it reckons it would gain £10.2m, including a sizeable amount from its own Martlesham store.

Tesco does not believe its development of a 30-acre field in Walton High Street would have a significant adverse impact on the town centre – and claims it would not force any supermarkets to close.

In fact, the company says its new store will bring between £2m and £3m to the town centre through people doing their food shop at Walton Green and then going into Hamilton Road to buy other day-to-day household items they would have bought out-of-town.

The Walton Felixstowe Community First action group – which is fighting the development – disagrees.

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Its planning expert, David Matson said the Tesco scheme was “a repellent thing” which would cause “permanent damage” to the town centre.

“Tesco ask us to believe that they wish to invest in a store that will achieve 62pc of their national average turnover per sq ft. This is either bad business or not credible,” he said.

“Tesco forecasts the new underperforming store will divert £4m of town centre trade. Should it achieve closer to average trading levels, significant further trade will be sucked from Felixstowe town centre, reducing footfall and turnover for all town centre businesses.”

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