A 10-year battle in the picturesque Suffolk market town of Hadleigh over a proposed Tesco store could soon draw to a close when Tesco submits its final “tweaks” to a plan that has divided the town.
Babergh District Council is expected to make a recommendation this summer to allow the store to go ahead ¬¬– if Tesco can iron out concerns over the local dormouse population, which is protected by law, and a Victorian former gasworks that may need to be demolished.
The site, a section of disused land by the river Brett, borders a conservation area.
Opposition among local traders and those concerned about the damage to the conservation area is “highly passionate” according John Bloomfield of the Hadleigh Society, which has campaigned against the store.
“It is a special place,” he said. “The whole character of the town would be altered for the worse if they build on the site, but they don’t give a damn.”
The row has split the local community, with one resident, Matt Warner, even creating a ‘Yes To Tesco In Hadleigh’ Facebook group.
Tesco submitted its revised application at the beginning of 2008, proposing a store built from traditional materials with a Suffolk pink exterior to tie with the rest of the high street.
“We hope it will happen this summer but all things are relative when you’ve been working on a scheme for 10 years,” said Nick Gellatly, Tesco corporate affairs manager. “I had less grey hair when we started.”