Stowmarket: Morrisons set to open in town

STOWMARKET: After months of speculation, it has been revealed that the new Morrisons supermarket being built in the town is set to open by the end of October 2011.

The store is to be constructed at Sheringham Court, just off Milton Road South, and will see the former Seamans builders’ yard transformed.

The opening of the site will create 50 full-time and 80 part-time jobs for the town and offer more competition to its existing Asda and Tesco supermarkets.

Morrisons has still not confirmed the agreement, but Mid Suffolk District Council says contracts have been exchanged and archeologists have been working on the site over the past few weeks.

In a report to the council, set to be discussed at this week’s rearranged meeting, Lesley Mayes, portfolio holder for Stowmarket Regeneration, said the latest progress would end “months of speculation” about the project.

She said: “Planning permission was granted on November 3. The store is targeting to be open by (the) end of October 2011.

“In order to achieve this, groundwork will need to start before (the) end of November. Archaeologists are on site already.”

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She added: “Milton Road Car Park will be closed from early January while it is levelled and enlarged. It will remain closed for about three months.”

Although this will mean a loss of some car parking spaces for shoppers, there are several other locations nearby in the town and the completed supermarket site will also offer considerable space for parking.

More than 30 conditions were added to the planning permission when it was passed last month, including one to add a pedestrian pathway through the car park for people using pushchairs and wheelchair users.

Other conditions relate to contributions towards public art of �10,000 and �3,250 for landscaping along Gipping Way.

There will also be funds provided by the developer for a zebra crossing on Milton Road South and a new bus shelter nearby.

These would all be covered by a Section 106 planning obligation that forms part of the planning permission.

n Do you think a Morrisons would be good for the town? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@