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Tesco seeks new site in Halesworth

PUBLISHED: 17:41 24 April 2008 | UPDATED: 07:22 01 August 2010

SUPERMARKET chain Tesco has once again changed its mind about opening a store in Halesworth - and now wants the site where a rival store operates.

The foodstore giant owns land off Saxon's Way in Halesworth and talks have been going on for several months about a store being built on the site.

SUPERMARKET chain Tesco has once again changed its mind about opening a store in Halesworth - and now wants the site where a rival store operates.

The foodstore giant owns land off Saxon's Way in Halesworth and talks have been going on for several months about a store being built on the site.

Now it has emerged that Tesco has told Halesworth Town Council it is no longer interested in developing the site because it is too small and instead wants to buy the existing Rainbow supermarket on Saxon's Way and a piece of adjoining land to make way for a larger store.

Its hopes look set to be dashed, with the Co-op announcing its resistance and its intention to stay where it is in Halesworth.

However Andy Simpson, Anglia Regional Co-operative Society's group manager, which owns the Rainbow store, said: "We are aware of the fact that Tesco has decided the land it owns in Halesworth is no longer suitable, but we have no intention of selling our store now or in the future." He added that the store is due to undergo a major refurbishment and added: "We are 100pc committed to Halesworth."

Members of the Blyth Valley Partnership have met with Tesco, where they were told that the chain would no longer be building a supermarket on the town centre site which it owns.

Town council chairman Janet Wright said: "The representative told us that the site was too small, something we all thought when they bought the land. We talked about the possibility of setting up a one-stop shop for community use on the land and Tesco indicated this may be possible."

The Rainbow store in Halesworth was built about 16 years ago on its site just off the town centre following considerable debate and some controversy over whether a national foodstore was right for the town.

Tesco spokesman Michael Kissman would not confirm the intentions for the future of the site. He said: "Discussions with local groups will continue. We are still at an early stage."

Over at Beccles Tesco has put the neighbouring Rainbow store under threat, and the Co-op is considering plans to demolish its store in Blyburgate and replace it with flats.

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