Shop opening times anger residents

RESIDENTS living near to an Ipswich site earmarked for a supermarket are today fighting attempts to extend the opening times.

RESIDENTS living near to an Ipswich site earmarked for a supermarket are today fighting attempts to extend the opening times.

Planning permission for an Asda store to be built in Stoke Park Drive was passed in January when a unanimous decision was returned by Ipswich Borough Council.

When Asda outlined plans for the 250,000sqft store at a residents' meeting, staff said the store wanted opening hours to run from 8am to 8pm.

Hours of 7am to 10pm were instead officially granted and now the store is planning to vary these plans further and have applied to open from 6am to 11pm.

Eric Roberts, chairman of the Stoke Park Resident's Association, said: “We have opposed these amendments on the grounds that it is a busy residential area which is not suitable to have traffic coming and going so early in the morning and late at night.

“We were happy to have the opening hours from 8am to 8pm as these are the hours of trade used by another store in the area.

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“We do not want delivery trucks arriving at 6am and know that when the estate was built there were traffic restrictions to prevent large vehicles coming in during the evening and night hours.”

Neil Marjoram, of Ramsey Road, said: “Since the public meetings, which were held to reassure residents about the impact of the new store, Asda have changed their planning application and gone against what we were told.

“Residents are not happy with this and I believe that not all residents are aware of the first time change that extends the original hours to 7am to 10pm.

“Somehow when it went through from the planning committee to the planning officer to finalise the details the opening times were changed.”

Deborah Yewdall, spokeswoman for Asda, said: “We have applied to extend the hours so we can compete with a Tesco Extra which is nearby.

“The opening hours will be between 7am and 10pm but the hour either side is because of the deliveries.”

Time has now passed for objections to the amendments to be submitted to the planning department of the council.

A decision will be made within the next few months.

n Do you support the new development at Stoke Park? Write to: Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

WEBLINK:

www.ipswich.gov.uk

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