Ipswich: Tesco will go ahead with Grafton Way store despite slump in profits

An artist's impression of the planned Grafton Way Tesco development

An artist's impression of the planned Grafton Way Tesco development - Credit: Contributed

GET on with it! That’s the plea to Tesco today from Ipswich Central after the retail giant confirmed it would go ahead with its controversial Grafton Way store – despite the company posting a major profit slump.

A spokesman made the pledge after Tesco said it was abandoning plans for a further 100 large stores because the retail landscape had changed.

Ipswich Central chief executive Paul Clement said: “I would ask both Tesco and our council to work together to get on with it.

“It shouldn’t be an open-ended multi-year approval – let’s give Tesco an incentive to build out now or suggest they get out.”

An ambitious scheme to develop a superstore in Grafton Way, Ipswich, with more than 100 flats, hotels, and other shops was approved by borough planners in the teeth of strong opposition in 2010.

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However after a legal challenge from developers of a rival scheme and the continued recession, work never got under way.

A new application for a smaller development with a reduced-size store and a few town houses rather than flats is expected to be considered by the borough’s planning and development committee next month.

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The Tesco spokesman said, if approved, work was unlikely to start before next year because legal issues will still have to be resolved.

Meanwhile campaigners in Felixstowe have vowed to carry on their fight against proposals for a Tesco superstore at Walton.

Mary Wyatt, of the Walton Felixstowe Community First action group said: “I am not holding my breath – I think Tesco are fairly determined and have obviously picked that site with a lot of care and put a lot of work into it.

“I have absolutely no reason to believe they would give up now.”

n Should Tesco build more stores? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail starletters@archant.co.uk

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