Blow for rival supermarket bids
COUNCILLORS in Waveney would have voted against rival store plans for Halesworth it has emerged - but either scheme could still go ahead.Tesco has applied to build a store on land off Angel Link and the Anglia Regional Co-operative Society wants to extend its Rainbow Foodstore, on Saxons Way, and demolish a petrol station.
COUNCILLORS in Waveney would have voted against the rival store plans for Halesworth - but either scheme could go ahead nonetheless.
Tesco is seeking consent to build a store on land off Angel Link. And Anglia Regional Co-operative Society wants to extend its Rain-bow Foodstore, on Saxons Way, and demolish a petrol station.
Councillors voted to oppose both schemes at a meeting on Wednesday of Waveney District Council's development control committee. But the final decision now will actually be taken by the Planning Inspectorate. The views of the Waveney members will feed into its considerations.
The inspectorate became involved after the two super-market chains lodged appeals for non-determination, following the long delay by the district council in taking a decision on both projects.
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Tesco spokesman Nick Gellatly said: "Of course we are disappointed; a new store in Halesworth would provide the prices and choice so many people tell us they need to shop locally.
"Unfortunately, the council's report did not consider all the benefits of our plans, such as almost �450,000 for affordable homes and community facilities. However, this is just the first stage in the appeal process and we are concentrating on what happens next."
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John Chilcott, chief executive of Anglia Co-operative, also said he was disappointed.
"The petrol filling station closure resulting from the extension seems to have been a significant influence in the refusal, despite the fact that it is not technically a planning issue," he said.
"However, I recognise the local concerns about the filling station. Anglia Co-operative are keen to act in the best interest of the Halesworth community, so I shall review the Co-op's position on the appeal in progress and also consider other options that may find more favour with local people and the planning authority."
The proposals have divided opinion in the town, and those against the Tesco scheme formed the Save Halesworth Group.
Spokesman Garry Booth said: "We are pleased that all the coun-cillors agreed that the proposed edge-of-town superstore is not needed in Halesworth and would harm the local economy irrevocably."