Work on Spar to start imminently

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Latest business news from the Suffolk Free Press,, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

The construction of a new convenience store in Glemsford is expected to begin this month, almost two years after the project was given the go-ahead.

Permission to turn Glemsford Motor Spares in Bell Lane into two retail units, including a Spar shop, was granted by Babergh District Council in the summer of 2012.

Although the site has been cleared, no building work has started, resulting in speculation among residents over whether the store would ever be built.

Darren Howard, director of Maple Building Services, which has been contracted to build the store, said work was due to start soon on the former garage site.

“We are in the final stages of remediating the contamination and are waiting to hear back on reports sent to the Environment Agency and the local authority,” he said.

“We hope to have clearance to start in the next 10 days – we’re making positive steps.”

Mr Howard said that, although it appeared to some onlookers that nothing was happening on the land, all the fuel tanks associated with the garage had been removed and it was now a case of “ticking off the final boxes” for the Sudbury-based firm.

“We have done our best to keep residents up to speed and, once we get the go-ahead, things should move fairly quickly,” he said.

“There is a build schedule of five months before it is handed over to Spar to fit out and they tend to do that remarkably quickly.”

When the initial application for the change of use of the site was submitted, a number of business owners in the village raised concerns, claiming the shop would damage independent traders.

Anne Mallalieu, vice-chairman of Glemsford Parish Council, said it was about time work started.

“People have been waiting 18 months for something to happen,” said Mrs Mallalieu.

“The parish council has accepted planning has been granted and it will go-ahead. It is now a matter of getting on with it.”