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Top supermarket tried to come to town

PUBLISHED: 14:00 18 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:41 03 March 2010

THE boss of Buyright, one of two stores whose bids to build a supermarket in Hadleigh were rejected following a public inquiry, has said his company has been approached by a major multiple about using part of the site.

THE boss of Buyright, one of two stores whose bids to build a supermarket in Hadleigh were rejected following a public inquiry, has said his company has been approached by a major multiple about using part of the site.

QD/Buyright managing director Ken Turner was out of the country when the results of the public inquiry into rival Tesco and Buyright proposals for the town were published.

He said he was "a bit disappointed" by the outcome.

But it is clear that the supermarket saga in the pretty medieval market town is not over yet.

Mr Turner said: "We will be considering our position over the next few weeks. We have been approached by a major multiple and asked would we be interested in hiving off part of our store. We have to work out the best commercial thing to do for us. It's going to be very interesting to see how things develop. We don't feel under pressure to do anything straight away."

In the run-up to last year's public inquiry Mr Turner said he was prepared to go ahead with putting up a supermarket on the Buyright Calais Street site, some five minutes walk from Hadleigh High Street.

The company would not need planning permission if it divided up its discount warehouse, which attracts shoppers from all over Suffolk and outside the county, and confined any developments to its existing site.

Mr Turner disagreed with the inquiry's conclusion that a store there would damage High Street trade.

He said: "Since we took over the store our turnover's gone up four times and the High Street seems to be more successful than ever. I don't think we have hurt the High Street and I felt that for Hadleigh, which is in the top 10 historic towns, the store was better on the edge of the town than in the middle."

Speculation has been growing following publication of the inquiry results, which also rejected in which Tesco's proposal for a store on the Brett Works industrial estate behind the High Street, that the property development company Carter Commercial has put its interests in the industrial estate on the market.

However this was denied by a spokesman for Tesco and its planning consultants Littman Robeson, who said last night: "Carter retain their interests and their contractual position with Tesco also remains. There is no change to the situation that's previously existed."

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