Tesco will not contest refusal of store plans

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Latest community news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

Supermarket chain Tesco has finally conceded defeat in long-running efforts to build a new store in Hadleigh.

The company revealed last week that it would not appeal against a decision by Babergh District Council to reject proposals to build on the former Brett Works site.

Councillors voted by seven votes to six to refuse the plans in September, due to the “substantial harm” it would cause the town’s High Street and economy. Planning officers had recommended approval.

A Tesco spokesman said: “We know a Tesco store would have created new investment and jobs for the area. However, we respect the democratic planning process and have decided not to appeal the committee’s decision.”

He added that the company was considering alternative uses for the site – a proportion of which it owns – and would discuss options with the community as well as the town and district councils.

Jan Byrne, who has fought against the plans for 13 years, said she was “delighted” there would be no appeal.

“The store was rejected on economic grounds, so even if Tesco had appealed, it would have been logical that the appeal would fail,” she said. “It just would not work on that site.”

Mrs Byrne said that due to limited access to the land, careful consideration would be needed to decide its future.

“I think it would be ideal for small private residential homes for the retired,” she said. “Something with a small amount of homes and cars. If it was a community centre or sports facility, it could not cope with the traffic.”

Hadleigh mayor Mary Munson agreed that “sensible housing” was an option.

“Sheltered housing for the elderly is a possible idea as people would not have far to go into town,” she said.

“Tesco could still sell some of the land to other developers so we will have to watch this space and see what can be done. It is early days as to what happens now.”