Go-ahead plea for £3m food store

DEVELOPERS have urged a Government inspector to give them the go-ahead to invest £3million for a major project which includes building a town centre food store.

DEVELOPERS have urged a Government inspector to give them the go-ahead to invest £3million for a major project which includes building a town centre food store.

Boden Properties Ltd, putting its case during the first day of a public inquiry yesterday , is trying to overturn Mid Suffolk District Council's decision refusing them permission to use the old waterworks site in Union Street West, Stowmarket, for the Aldi discount food store.

The inquiry, which continues today before Government inspector Robert Forster at the council's Needham Market chambers, heard both developers and the council's barristers outlining their cases.

Mark Lowe, representing the developers, told the inquiry the development would bring shoppers to this part of Stowmarket and add to the viability of the town centre.

He said: "My clients have carefully developed these proposals with the market and the local authority and are ready to make a £3million investment of which the primary component is the discount food retailer.''

But barrister Paul Shadarevian, representing the council, told the inquiry that the development lacked vision because it focuses on one large food store and will not add to the range of shops in Stowmarket.

Most Read

He criticised the design of the development in the Conservation Area as uncharacteristic.

Mr Shadarevian called witnesses yesterday to give evidence, including planning and conservation experts.

Robert Pomery, a town and country planning expert, said the site was almost a blank canvass and the damage to the area could take 100 years to put right when the site is redeveloped again.

A conservation expert called on behalf of the council also criticised the development, arguing that it would not be in keeping with the Conservation Area.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter