Plans for Beccles shop site move forward

A supermarket could be demolished to make way for flats and small shops as proposals to redevelop the Rainbow site in Beccles move one step closer to being given the go-ahead.

Plan to demolish a supermarket to make way for flats and small shops have been backed by councillors despite opposition from townspeople.

Designs for the Rainbow supermarket site on Blyburgate in Beccles were first submitted more than three years ago and now new outline plans for 14 flats and seven retail units have been backed by Beccles Town Council.

Plans for 25 two-storey flats were turned down in 2006 after neighbours complained that their homes would be overlooked and that the retail units would create extra traffic to the site, which is owned by Anglia Regional Co-operative Society.

Dozens of local people attended a public meeting on Thursday night to hear a presentation by John Hargreaves from developer Woods Hardwick.

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An informal vote at the end of the public session showed that the majority of people who attended thought the plans should be refused but town councillors backed the scheme.

Colin Richardson, chair of the town council's planning committee, said that the council would approve the plans as long as Suffolk County Council carries out a traffic survey to assess the problems with congestion around the site.

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A decision on the plans is due to be made by Waveney District Council's planning officers in June.

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