Ipswich: Delay over new Tesco store in Grafton Way

PROPOSALS to build a new Tesco store in Grafton Way have been delayed again – with the planning application not now expected to be discussed until early next year.

This time the wrangle is over access to the site, with Tesco developers in discussions with borough council planners to try to come up with a proposal that can be recommended to councillors.

However, this latest delay means there will be no decision on the proposal until early 2013 at the earliest – THREE YEARS after the original application was controversially given the go-ahead.

The scheme was extensively remodelled earlier this year with the size of the store cut back significantly and proposals for more than 100 flats abandoned.

The new application is for a food-based store only – it would not sell a wide range of other items. This was welcomed by other traders in the town who had feared that a superstore would damage the traditional town centre.

Work is, however, due to start on demolishing the former B&Q store and other empty retail units on the site which would mean that construction work could start soon after planning permission is granted.

A Tesco spokesman said: “Over the past few months we have been working with the planning authorities to obtain approval for some minor changes to our plans, mostly relating to access to the site.

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“The revised planning application was submitted in August, and we hope to receive confirmation early in the new year.

“In the meantime, we are cracking on with some of the preparatory work to make the site ready for construction, including the demolition of the former B&Q warehouse.

“We are very grateful for the continued interest and support shown by the local community during this process. We know that people will be encouraged to see activity on the site, and look forward to delivering much needed regeneration, great value shopping and jobs to Ipswich.”