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Planning application approved for new store in town

PUBLISHED: 11:03 17 September 2019 | UPDATED: 09:26 23 September 2019

The former tool store on 15, St Anne's Road, in Beccles will turn into a convenience store. Picture: Google Maps

The former tool store on 15, St Anne's Road, in Beccles will turn into a convenience store. Picture: Google Maps

Archant

A former garden and tool centre will be transformed into a convenience store as plans for the site are approved by the council.

The former garden and tool hire centre, on St Anne's Road in Beccles, relocated in April and the site has been vacant since.

An excerpt from the change of use application to East Suffolk Council from businessowner, Asanka Rathnayaka Mudiyanselage said the site will changed from a B1 to class A1 and will be used for convenience retailing.

The store, which will be open from Monday to Sunday, will open until 11pm throughout the week and from 7am to 10pm on Sunday.

However, the businessowner originally intended to keep the store open until 11pm on Sunday.

The Beccles Town Council Planning Committee and East Suffolk Council approved the application, however the town council raised concerns about the opening hours of the store, disabled access and parking on site.

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Charlie Middleton, deputy town clerk for Beccles, said: "Following a discussion, the committee approved the application but considered that the Sunday opening hours should be revised to 7am to 10pm given the premises are in a residential area and these opening hours are in line with another nearby convenience food store.

"The committee were unsure if the entrance door met with disability access requirements as this appears to be a standard door width and there is no mention on the application form, section nine to alter this door. We noted that it appeared that the existing sliding door would be fixed shut so this wasn't being proposed as an alternative access door," Mr Middleton said.

The applicant was advised to check with building control to confirm whether the access door meets regulations and provisions of the equalities act in relation to disabled access.

One resident of St Anne's Road opposed the application, claiming there would be congestion on the street.

"Parking would be a problem also the disruption to the residential housing. There are two similar shops close by. This application in my opinion should be refused."

However, the town council said it wasn't "considered to be a valid reason for refusing the application".

Epic Tools has since moved to Moor Business Park in Beccles.

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