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Tesco supporters keep pressure on

PUBLISHED: 23:21 26 June 2003 | UPDATED: 14:03 03 March 2010

A GROUP of residents is keeping up the pressure in support of a proposal by Tesco to build a supermarket in their town.

The Tesco Supporters' Group has sent a petition of 172 signatures with comments to Babergh District Council supporting Tesco's bid to build on the run-down Brett Works Industrial Estate behind High Street in Hadleigh.

A GROUP of residents is keeping up the pressure in support of a proposal by Tesco to build a supermarket in their town.

The Tesco Supporters' Group has sent a petition of 172 signatures with comments to Babergh District Council supporting Tesco's bid to build on the run-down Brett Works Industrial Estate behind High Street in Hadleigh.

Roy Smith, chairman of the group, said it was appalled at the length of time it was taking to get the situation resolved. "Lots of taxpayers' money is going down the drain on this. It's bad," he added.

Tesco first applied for planning permission in 1999, but was turned down by the council.

It subsequently lost its appeal against the decision following a public inquiry in 2002, when it was accepted the town needed more food retail shopping and the site fitted Government policy in being closest to the town centre.

But the inquiry inspector ruled the town's historic High Street could not support the expected increase in traffic, which it was feared might damage medieval buildings within the conservation area, and also that the store design was not appropriate for the picturesque setting.

Tesco subsequently produced new proposals moving access to the site away from High Street.

Earlier this year planning officers recommended the Brett Works site should be included in the Local Plan, currently under review, but councillors voted by 19 to 15 in favour of another site, Calais Street, owned by discount store Buyright, further away from the town centre.

Tesco is expected to field strong opposition to this during the local plan inquiry, expected to take place in the spring or summer next year.

Babergh District Council will have to defend its councillors' decision at the inquiry – possibly employing a team of technical experts and a barrister.

It was estimated it cost the council £250,000 to put its case at the last public inquiry into the supermarket issue.

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