Supermarket expansion turned down

SUPERMARKET giant Tesco's hopes of building a £1 million extension to its Stowmarket store, creating more than 50 new jobs, has been snubbed amid fears it will hit smaller independent shops.

SUPERMARKET giant Tesco's hopes of building a £1 million extension to its Stowmarket store, creating more than 50 new jobs, has been snubbed amid fears it will hit smaller independent shops.

The huge retailer had hoped to extend its operation on the large Cedars Park estate on the outskirts of the town, where it wanted to offer a wider range in areas including books, clothing, some small electrical products and new food ranges.

It would have employed extra staff and estimated an extra £600,000 investment in staff wages, which could then have been spent within the local economy.

The move has proved hugely popular with residents on the estate with almost 500 people backing the plans for the superstore, which is the only business on the 2,000-home Cedars Park estate.


You may also want to watch:


But the Stowmarket Society and the town council opposed the plans, fearing smaller shops in the town centre would suffer and people could stop shopping locally in their town centre.

Frank Whittle, a district councillor who represents Stowmarket, said: “The extension is vital and will provide much needed extra jobs and may help stop some repossessions on Cedars Park. I cannot see this will be of any detriment to the shops in Stowmarket.”

Most Read

Justin Mills, an agent acting for the firm, said: “Tesco's want to make a significant improvement to an aging store, which is 15 years old. We want to improve the layout, offer better facilities, increase the range of food and ancillary items.

“There will be £600,000 in additional wages for the local economy, construction work. Stowmarket has a vital and viable town centre. Yes the proposals will draw some trade from the town centre, but will not detrimentally harm it.”

Tony Fowler, a Liberal Democrat councillor, said: “Tesco are an aggressive and progressive company. Customers are going to Tesco en masse and no-one is being forced to. The need is there and this is the wish of the people.”

Councillors, meeting at their Needham Market chambers yesterday, voted by six to three to refuse the plans.

Tesco's managers now plan to review their next step, which could include an appeal.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter