Poll says Tesco bid should go ahead

MORE than half of the 658 people who responded to a poll about a proposed major Tesco development in Ipswich voted in favour of it, it emerged today.

MORE than half of the 658 people who responded to a poll about a proposed major Tesco development in Ipswich voted in favour of it, it emerged today.

Plans to regenerate the area in Grafton Way with a large development, between Princes Street Bridge to Stoke Bridge, which would consist of a large Tesco superstore, hotels and housing, have proved to be controversial.

The Evening Star launched a poll on its website (www.eveningstar.co.uk) asking people if they would like to see the store built. Attracting one of the biggest responses yet to an online poll, 56 per cent (369 people) were in favour of it, while 44 per cent (289 people) disagreed.

While some believe the influx of jobs and the regeneration of the area is positive for the town, others claim that having such a large Tesco store so close to the town centre would be detrimental to small and independent businesses.

Mike Cook, from the Ipswich Society, said: “It is disappointing to hear that so many people are in favour of it. We are meeting with Tesco next week and will be discussing the issue with them.

“We are trying to encourage as many people as possible to express their objections.”

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A comment left on the Star's website in favour of the development said: “Smarten the area up and if you don't want to buy your fruit and veg there, you don't have to. It's a free world so shop where you want.”

Another said: “Developing an empty site which is a complete eyesore, in the industrial part of Ipswich doesn't affect the "old Ipswich”. I mean they are not building in it Christchurch Park are they?”

Planning permission has already been sought by Spenhill Regeneration, a subsidiary of Tesco, although the design of the site is still subject to change and discussions with Ipswich Borough Council are ongoing.

The plans include a Tesco store, which would be about 86,000sqf -much larger than the Copdock store, with around 660 parking spaces, up to 12 other retail units, 100 residential units, two hotels- a budget and a three-star one-and a fitness and beauty facility.

It is thought a decision on the development could take months or even years.

What is your view on this? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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