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Fears over masterplan are allayed

PUBLISHED: 09:48 19 November 2009 | UPDATED: 08:52 01 August 2010

THE firm that unveiled a masterplan to regenerate Halesworth town centre has answered confused residents who have questioned if another party was behind the proposals.

THE firm that unveiled a masterplan to regenerate Halesworth town centre has answered confused residents who have questioned if another party was behind the proposals.

A public exhibition that opened last week saw Cambridge Property Group set out its “vision for Halesworth” involving a site off the Thoroughfare.

The company is contracted to take ownership of the plot from landowner Tesco if the supermarket giant succeeds with its planning application to build a store on a bigger site it also owns off Angel Link.

But on seeing the proposals for shops, homes, offices, and a community centre, some people were left unclear as to whether Tesco was involved behind the scenes in the regeneration plans.

Garry Booth, from Save Halesworth, said: “Halesworth people are understandably curious about a company that could take ownership of the heart of their town. Yet, if you Google their name nothing comes up. We don't even know where their offices are.

“Their exhibition in the library shows various town centres that have been transformed - but CPG doesn't seem to have been involved in any of them. So far as we can see they have no track record of undertaking the sort of development described in their vision for Halesworth.”

He added: “Their representative at the library exhibition told me that CPG is based in the Isle of Man and that's all he knew about them. Frankly, that's not good enough.”

Liz Dent, an agent for CPG said: “I can confirm that there is absolutely no relationship, connection or otherwise between Tesco and Cambridge Property Group Plc, other than Cambridge Property Group Plc is contracted with Tesco to take ownership of the Thoroughfare site from Tesco, if Tesco's plans for a supermarket on Angel Link are successful.”

She said CPG was not party to Tesco's planning application, adding: “I can confirm that Cambridge Property Group Plc are a completely independent firm, acting independently to progress their own development ideas for a site which they may or may not ultimately acquire depending on the decision relating to Tesco's current planning application for a supermarket on the Angel Link site.”

Miss Dent said CPG was consulting with the community so it could have in place an appraisal and development proposal before purchasing the site, adding that it was a relatively new company that had undertaken many property developments.

Nick Gellatly, from Tesco, said: “For the record, we did not set up CPG, it is completely independent from Tesco and will be solely responsible for regenerating the land behind the Thoroughfare in the future.”

He added: “There isn't any smoke and mirrors here; we are focusing on our proposal for a store at Angel Link and expect that to be decided on the information in our application, rather than discussion about other sites.”

The display runs at Halesworth library until November 20.

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