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Supermarket wars in Hadleigh

PUBLISHED: 22:06 09 April 2004 | UPDATED: 04:46 02 March 2010

A MAJOR blow could be dealt to Tesco's Hadleigh bid - after other food retailers expressed interest in moving into the Buyright store.

Hadleigh was on the brink of getting a new town centre supermarket earlier this year, when councillors gave backing for the Brett Works site to be allocated for retail in the new local plan.

A MAJOR blow could be dealt to Tesco's Hadleigh bid - after other food retailers expressed interest in moving into the Buyright store.

Hadleigh was on the brink of getting a new town centre supermarket earlier this year, when councillors gave backing for the Brett Works site to be allocated for retail in the new local plan.

But today the Evening Star can reveal that the owners of the Buyright site in the town have been in discussion with a number of companies hoping to procure nearly a third of the store.

Ken Turner, managing director of QD stores which own the site, said: "Lidl have approached us as have other food retailers with the hope of doing a deal for part of the store.

"There is proof that Hadleigh has the need for an extra shop and if this goes ahead that will obviously be fulfilled. We are in consideration and this will finish the Tesco thing once and for all."

A spokeswoman for Tesco said this would not be the case - and the company would continue with the same intentions.

But for the Hadleigh Society, which has expressed strong opposition to Tesco's plans, it came as promising news.

John Bloomfield, vice chairman of the society said: "We would definitely welcome this initiative as it certainly provides what is asked for - inexpensive food and the protection of the centre of this historic town.

"We would like to see the plans as a society but as far as I am concerned this would be great for the town. It would cause all sorts of problems with Tesco's plans."

Because the Buyright store is already allocated for food retail, permission for another food retailer to move in would not need to be granted.

Mr Bloomfield added: "The existing store is already allocated for A1 use anyhow and there would be no structural alterations. I understand that Mr Turner has other plans to do other things which wouldn't inhibit Lidl moving in."

If the project does go ahead it could have backing from across the town.

Roy Smith, chairman of the Tesco Supporter's Group in Hadleigh said: "I imagine it would generally be welcomed.

"It would be an improvement on what we are getting at the moment.

"What we need in Hadleigh is a choice which we do not have currently.

"The co-op has a monopoly and is expensive as a result."

Even if the move goes ahead it seems likely that Tesco will continue with their bid to develop a store of the Brett Work's side.

Mr Smith added: "I don't think it will have any affect on Tesco. They have the site included in the local plan and are happy with that. I think they will push on with their plans."

N Would you like to see another food store in Hadleigh? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk


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