Halesworth rival supermarket plans
Victoria NichollsTwo competing supermarkets have lodged appeals against a council that has failed to make a decision on their rival Halesworth store proposals months after both applications were submitted.Victoria Nicholls
Two competing supermarkets have lodged appeals against a council that has failed to make a decision on their rival Halesworth store proposals months after both applications were submitted.
Rainbow Co-op Foodstore put in plans to Waveney District Council in February 2009 for an extension to its Halesworth store.
Supermarket bosses want to expand the shop, on Saxons Way, by about a third and create extra car parking.
It was followed in May by an application from rival Tesco to build a store on neighbouring land, off Angel Link.
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John Chilcott, chief executive of Anglia Cooperative Society, which runs Rainbow, said: 'The issues are many and complex but Waveney District Council have had a long time. Anglia Co-op has offered them advice and support, and access to its research data at minimal cost and we feel that the time has come to come to a determination of our application, irrespective of Tesco's.'
Councils have 13 weeks in which to decide on major planning applications. The delay over the decisions has led the two supermarkets to lodge appeals for non-determination to the Planning Inspectorate, although both sides still want the decision to be made by the council.
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Nick Gellatly, from Tesco, said he felt that it was right that the two applications were considered together.
A spokesman for Waveney District Council said: 'This delay is unfortunate, but it was vital that the planning committee were provided with a clear, comprehensive picture of the current retail environment in and around Halesworth.
'Officers have been awaiting the results of an independent retail report to update the retail needs assessment specifically for Halesworth as part of the Local Development Framework, which seeks to determine the long-term needs of the community.'