Legal challenge from Co-op delays a start on town centre superstore in Felixstowe

Hamilton Road, Felixstowe

Hamilton Road, Felixstowe - Credit: Archant

Developers have given an assurance that an approved multi-million pound superstore on a town centre site in Felixstowe will be built – even though it is 16 months since consent was given.

The 30,000sq ft supermarket is set to be built in Railway Approach, but the Retail Development Partnership, which is behind the venture, has not announced an operator for the store.

However, the company is confident it will be able to build its superstore but at the moment is facing a High Court challenge to its proposals.

David Prichard, of Marrons Planning, on behalf of the Retail Development Partnership, said: “Following the grant of planning permission for my clients’ development, legal action has been initiated by the East of England Co-operative Society contending that part of the land granted permission to my client for the development of a convenience goods foodstore should be the subject of a restrictive covenant preventing its development for that purpose.

“No such restrictive covenant is registered against the land in question with the Land Registry and my client is therefore actively contesting the legal action of the Co-op.”

The matter was due to be dealt with by the Property Chamber First Tier Tribunal, but has now been referred to the High Court.

The case is expected to be heard this year.

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Mr Prichard said: “The sole reason why development of the Railway Approach site has not proceeded is therefore as a result of the legal challenge to the development made by the Co-op.”

He remained confident the court will find in his clients’ favour and the regeneration of the site take place.

Suffolk Coastal chose the site because it was felt it would have less impact on the town centre shopping area than other out-of-town proposals.