Store wars flare up in market town

BATTLE lines in store wars raging across a medieval market town of Hadleigh are being drawn after a year long truce.Tesco Stores Ltd has announced that it has submitted technical reports to Babergh District Council in the hope of getting the Brett Works industrial estate behind the High Street allocated for a food store in the emerging Local Plan.

BATTLE lines in store wars raging across a medieval market town of Hadleigh are being drawn after a year long truce.

Tesco Stores Ltd has announced that it has submitted technical reports to Babergh District Council in the hope of getting the Brett Works industrial estate behind the High Street allocated for a food store in the emerging Local Plan.

However a spokesman stressed that the reports covered full retail, traffic, ecology and hydrology surveys and were not a formal planning application.

Corporate affairs manager Richard Petrie said: "Hadleigh needs a new food store to reduce the current trade leakage and we believe this is the only suitable site in the town.

"The store development will create new jobs, offer greater consumer choice, especially benefiting those without a car and enhance the vitality and viability of the town centre."

He said the company was committed to developing the Brett Works site and hoped that by lodging the technical reports Babergh would realise the benefits of a food store there and would allocate the land in the local plan, which is currently under review.

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The public phase of the review process is expected to begin in September 2003 and Tesco is expected to send representatives to argue its case then.

Meanwhile Buyright, which has a discount store in nearby Calais Street, has sent a document and plan for a 2,628 square metre store on its land to Babergh District Council and is also hoping to discuss its draft proposals with the town council towards the end of November.

The company has declined to comment on its proposals, which are not a formal planning application.

The Co-operative already has planning permission to extend its store in the centre of the High Street and assistant general manager Bill Knowles confirmed that a full set of details was currently being drawn up to put out the job for tender.

He said: "We're planning to start practical work on the ground in the New Year."

The uncertainty over the possibility of a supermarket being built in Hadleigh began in 1999, when Tesco first applied for planning permission for the Brett Works site, which was turned down.

Controversy had divided the town for almost 18 months before a planning inquiry was held in 2001, after Tesco appealed against the decision.

Those opposed to the store feared the effects of increased traffic on the town's High Street, which is one of the largest conservation areas in the country.

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