Market joins the fightback against Tesco

IPSWICH market traders are today fighting back against proposals for a large supermarket in the town.

IPSWICH market traders are today fighting back against proposals for a large supermarket in the town.

They fear that if the giant Tesco store, proposed to be built at the former B&Q site in Grafton Way, gets the go-ahead, it could spell the end of the market.

They are fully supporting Ipswich Central's campaign against the plans and have adorned their stalls on the Cornhill with posters and leaflets to declare their stance.

A few weeks ago Ipswich Central made its first ever official response to an individual planning application because of the strength of feeling among its 700 stakeholders who were predominately against the development.

The controversial multi-million pound development by Spenhill Regeneration, includes a Tesco superstore, hotels, and residential properties.

Warren O'Connell, who runs the market, said: “We are 100 per cent against it. The market has been running for 30 years and we believe something like this Tesco would damage the market. The market is a meeting place and it is like a community here.

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“We think if there was a Tesco store here, people would not come into town to get their fruit and vegetables. They would park their car in Tesco and have no reason to come into town.

“This might even lead to its closure. If there is not enough business, they might go off and do boot sales instead.”

Paul Clement, executive director from Ipswich Central, said: “General interest in our campaign against the application is far higher than we would have anticipated.

“It seems to be perfectly evident that major occupiers of both retail and non-retail space within the town centre are completely against the proposal. It is therefore our duty to oppose the application and to continue to do so.”

Nick Gellatly, of Spenhill Regeneration, said: “Ipswich market is a great asset to the town, and Ipswich, including the market, will thrive and prosper only with a critical mass of shopping and decent car parking. We are providing free car parking which will benefit all traders in Ipswich, including market stallholders.”

Do you think the market traders are right? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail

If you want to make your views known on this application, write to Ipswich Borough Council, 15-17 Russell Road

Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 2DE.