Mixed response to supermarket plan

A MULTI-million pound town centre development in Stowmarket today received a mixed response from community leaders and environmentalists. As revealed in yesterday's Evening Star, Developers Boden Properties Ltd have been given permission to start work on the derelict waterworks site, in Union Street West.

A MULTI-million pound town centre development in Stowmarket today received a mixed response from community leaders and environmentalists.

As revealed in yesterday's Evening Star, Developers Boden Properties Ltd have been given permission to start work on the derelict waterworks site, in Union Street West.

The £3million project will include a clutch of small shops and an Aldi discount superstore, which is expected to attract 4,500 shoppers a week and have a turnover of up to £4million.

The decision to give the go-ahead for the scheme, announced yesterday by planning inspector Robert Forster, followed a two-day public inquiry held earlier this month.


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Previously, Mid Suffolk District Council had refused planning permission for the development, arguing it lacked vision and was unsuitable for a Conservation Area.

These objections were rejected by Mr Forster, who said the proposal would "enhance the vitality and viability of the town centre of Stowmarket".

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Denis Barnard, chairman of Stowmarket chamber of commerce, gave his personal backing to the decision.

"Anything that brings jobs to the town is good news as far as I'm concerned, he said.

"It will bring greater choice for the consumer and that has to be good."

Town councillor Keith Scarff added: "We have consistently supported the schemes proposed for the site.

"Aldi stores seem to be very popular wherever they move to and I'm sure this development will be good for Stowmarket."

Mid Suffolk Friends of the Earth today reaffirmed its opposition to the scheme, maintaining the site would be better used as a bus interchange.

Spokesman Andrew Stringer said he was "disappointed but not surprised" at the decision.

Planning permission was granted with a series of conditions, covering issues such as landscaping, noise and parking.

Dan Bould, managing director of Boden Properties, said it would be a "fine development" that would "reinvigorate" the area.

What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or join the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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