Poll: Superstore exhibition to be greeted by protest

PROTESTERS will today make their voices heard as developers show off the latest proposals for a Tesco superstore at Felixstowe.

The Walton Green Partnership will be revealing the latest designs for the lay-out of a 30-acre project to include the 30,000sq ft store, 180 homes, business units, community facilities and allotments.

Trinity College, Cambridge, will also unveil proposals for a further 170 homes on a second field on the opposite side of Walton High Road.

Campaigners against the project have paid for a large advert in today’s Felixstowe Star to highlight their main reasons for fighting the Tesco scheme, and are planning to protest outside the exhibition at the Felixstowe Trades and Labour Club.

The exhibition is on today and tomorrow, from 3pm to 7pm.

Walton Felixstowe Community First (WFCF) is opposing the store because it fears it could cause shop closures in Walton and Felixstowe, turning the town centre into a ghost town, and says surveys show the resort has no need for another supermarket.

It claims the store will also cause a significant increase in traffic and congestion in Walton and at the dock spur roundabout.

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Mary Wyatt, of WFCF, said: “In my travels around shops in Felixstowe, Walton and Old Felixstowe I have found that the shopkeepers are totally opposed to the proposed Tesco store.”

She said recent analysis of local spending patterns by Suffolk Coastal council showed 1,400 sq m of convenience retail will be needed in Felixstowe by 2025 – half what Tesco is proposing.

Tim Collins, a partner in Bidwells, agents for Trinity College, said the partnership had submitted a retail impact assessment. The council would bring in an independent consultant to analyse the findings.

“Currently, around 27pc of expenditure – and increasing – in Felixstowe and the Trimleys is leaching out of the area to be spent in the stores around Ipswich and the Walton Green development will be an opportunity to keep that money local,” he said.