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Council too slow, say supermarkets

PUBLISHED: 08:00 22 January 2010 | UPDATED: 09:09 01 August 2010

TWO competing super-markets have lodged appeals against a council that has failed to make a decision on rival Halesworth store proposals months after applications were submitted.

TWO competing super-markets have lodged appeals against a council that has failed to make a decision on rival Halesworth store proposals months after applications were submitted.

Rainbow Co-op Foodstore put in plans to Waveney District Council in February 2009 for an extension.

It wants to expand the store, on Saxons Way, by about a third and create extra car parking. It was followed in May by an application from Tesco to build a store on land off Angel Link.

John Chilcott, chief executive of Anglia Cooperative Society, said: “We feel the time has come for a determination of our application.”

Councils have 13 weeks to decide on major planning applications. The two super-markets to lodge appeals for non-determination to the Planning Inspectorate.

Nick Gellatly, for Tesco, ­ felt it was right the two applications were considered together. “We provided all the information requested and have also submitted an identical application at the same time so that councillors can still make a decision locally.”

A spokesman for WDC said: “A number of factors have conspired to delay the determination of these applications. This delay is unfortunate, but it was vital that the planning committee were provided with a clear, comprehensive picture of the current retail environment in and around Halesworth.”

On Monday, Halesworth Town Council rejected Anglia Co-op's resubmitted proposal mainly because it involved moving the petrol station. The council feared this would deprive the town of a valuable facility.

Mr Chilcott said the decision and argued it was not based on planning grounds as he was considering moving the station to another site if the proposal was accepted.

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