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Thumbs down for Stowmarket foodstore

PUBLISHED: 19:16 09 December 2002 | UPDATED: 13:09 03 March 2010

A scheme for a major new foodstore at Stowmarket town centre's derelict Waterworks building has been rejected - amid concerns the business would be an eyesore and cause traffic snarl-ups.

A scheme for a major new foodstore at Stowmarket town centre's derelict Waterworks building has been rejected – amid concerns the business would be an eyesore and cause traffic snarl-ups.

Mid Suffolk district councillors rejected the planning application by Corby based Boden Properties Ltd. It is not clear which operator was behind the proposal.

The development would have seen the Waterworks building in Union Street West demolished and a new food store built.

The old Co-op general store would also have been partly demolished and the rest refurbished to create new smaller shops, with additional parking spaces created in the town.

Gordon Paton, a district councillor representing Stowmarket, told the planning meeting: "The importance of this site is incalculable for the town and will effect the character of Stowmarket for decades.

"This appears an attractive proposal and would tidy up a derelict area and we are trying to regenerate Stowmarket's town centre.

"But what is proposed, a large food discount store and a car park – is this really a suitable site? The town suffers from serious congestion. Imagine queuing up in either direction to enter this store and large lorries causing problems as they cross the carriageway.''

Mr Paton said he did not feel the local roads were suitable for such a store and local residents would suffer.

He added: "People will not be attracted by a discount food store. We want offices, housing, something much more imaginative on this site. We have to get it right for the future.''

Wendy Marchant, also a district councillor, said specialist shops already have the chance to come to Stowmarket and are not taking up vacant sites.

The authority heard the town council had recommended approval only after a close debate, and that a series of residents had objected concerned about issue including late night opening, traffic problems and the new store being an eyesore out of character to the area.

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