No new Tesco at fire station

ipswich: Retail giant Tesco will not be bidding for the site of the Colchester Road fire station, the company has confirmed today.

That could leave the field clear for Waitrose, which is understood to want to build its first store in Ipswich on the site that becomes vacant when the fire service moves to a new station on Ransomes Europark.

It had been thought that the site would be used for homes once the fire service left, but it emerged last week that supermarkets had been looking at moving there.

Waitrose issued a statement last week saying it remained keen on opening a store in Ipswich and was aware that the site would be marketed.

However it said it was not committed to any one site and was keeping all its options open.

A spokesman for Tesco told The Evening Star that it had no plans for any further large stores in the Ipswich area at present – and that it specifically was not interested in the Colchester Road site.

A public meeting was held for residents of the Colchester Road area on Friday night, and the vast majority of people were opposed to any supermarket development of the site.

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Conservative Judy Terry, who is seeking re-election to the borough on May 6, said: “About 80 per cent of the people at the meeting were opposed to the land being used for a supermarket.

“They are worried about the traffic and general disruption such a development would cause in the area.”

It has also emerged that the proposed new Tesco store in Grafton Way could make it more difficult for the company to build any further large new stores in the town.

If the company did try to build any further large stores in the town, it could provoke an inquiry by the Monopolies Commission.

However the land at Colchester Road is officially designated for new homes in the borough’s Local Development Framework and any other use would probably have to go to public inquiry.

The county council, which owns the land, has said it has a duty to council taxpayers to maximise the money it can get from the sale of the fire station site.

n Would you like to see a Waitrose come to the Colchester Road site? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star , 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail