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Mixed reactions to plans for Tesco store

PUBLISHED: 10:37 18 May 2009 | UPDATED: 08:13 01 August 2010

THERE was mixed reaction on Friday to Tesco's announcement that it would be submitting plans for a store in Halesworth on Monday.

Tesco says the store on land off Angel Link will improve shopping choice and attract visitors who currently go elsewhere for their food.

THERE was mixed reaction on Friday to Tesco's announcement that it would be submitting plans for a store in Halesworth on Monday.

Tesco says the store on land off Angel Link will improve shopping choice and attract visitors who currently go elsewhere for their food. If approved, it would also create around 150 full-time equivalent jobs.

But while some local people support the scheme, others oppose it.

Alan Denny, a resident in Halesworth for more than 70 years, said: “Halesworth used to be self- sufficient; we had more shops open and activity in the town centre. The population has grown but facilities have not - every day people travel to places like Beccles for shopping because they can't get what they want here. We need a new supermarket to bring people back, not more of the same.”

But Jen Berry, who last year organised a 1,500-signature petition against the proposals, said: “It would kill off local shops which would be so sad because Halesworth has a lovely town centre where people meet and chat and support local producers. We have got some lovely shops.”

Mike Coleman, chairman for the Waveney district of the Suffolk Preservation Society, said such a store would be out of keeping with the environment and threaten the local economy. “Halesworth is a lovely little market town and it's got lots of small shops which provide a choice, quality choice. I have met with a group of people in Halesworth who are very opposed to it and I think there will be quite a strong lobby.”

Tesco spokesman Nick Gellatly said he had been encouraged by the many people who support the plans. “Councillors will decide next week on proposals for an extension to the Co-op,” he said. “We have written asking them to consider both proposals together - so that they can take a close look at the benefits each plan brings to the town.

“We're offering 150 jobs, improved shopping choice and a free town centre car park. There would be funding to help bring new community facilities to Hales-worth. I'm certain people will want to look at what we have to offer with what's on the table from the Co-op.”

He said the store would draw shoppers back to town and provide a free car park close to the town centre, so local shops would also benefit.

A proposed agreement to be discussed with Waveney District Council would see money set aside to help fund the building of a community centre possibly on the town centre Thoroughfare site.

Mr Gellatly said that during consultation, the store was reduced in height by 1.2m to sit below the nearby Co-op and all adjacent buildings.


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