Supermarket gets expansion go-ahead
A HUGE expansion programme which will see Martlesham's Tesco store almost double in size looks set to get the green light next week.The proposals will see a 48 per cent increase in retail floor space at the Anson Road store and the number of non-convenience goods sold will increase by around 25pc.
A HUGE expansion programme which will see Martlesham's Tesco store almost double in size looks set to get the green light next week.
The proposals will see a 48 per cent increase in retail floor space at the Anson Road store and the number of non-convenience goods sold will increase by around 25pc.
The move will keep the Martlesham store in line with other large supermarkets like Asda at Whitehouse and Tesco at Copdock.
The application has caused controversy since it was first put forward in September, with local shopkeepers claiming it will be the death knell for their businesses.
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Traders from Woodbridge and Martlesham Heath believe they will be particularly affected because of the increased number of non-convenience items, known as comparison goods, being sold.
Woodbridge town centre manager Marion Wells said: "Many Woodbridge people already do their convenience shopping at Tesco in Martlesham in order to get the desired quality, range and service.
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"The town centre businesses cannot afford for these people to also buy their comparison goods out of town.
"I strongly object to the expansion proposals as I believe it would have a detrimental effect on all town centre businesses and the overall vitality and viability of the town."
Martlesham and Woodbridge's parish councils also expressed similar concerns about traders in their area.
However, a retail and planning assessment carried out by Suffolk county council concluded "no material impact on an existing town or local centre is likely to arise."
The application was first considered by planners in February, but Tesco were asked to return to the drawing board and fine tune some aspects of the scheme.
An amended application has now been submitted and will be scrutinised by Suffolk coastal planners on Thursday.
In their report, planning officers recommend the application be approved, stating Woodbridge town centre is performing well at the moment and "so long as Woodbridge remains vital and viable, further opportunities for investment in the town centre are likely to come forward."
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