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Tesco Planning Application
After a long period without any public activity Tesco submitted a revised document in December, a Retail Impact Assessment. Such documents can be difficult for the lay person to assess since they are cloaked in technical terms and procedures. Its primary objective seems to be to show that Tesco’s plans are in accordance with the 2008 retail study commissioned by Babergh. That study looked at the local market for ‘convenience’ goods and concluded that a further floor area of 1500sq m gross would meet the estimated need. Tesco’s proposal exceeds this by 80% now and would still be 68% over in 10 years’ time.
This means that Tesco would dominate the town to an excessive degree, to the detriment of the present High Street trade. Planning policy (specifically PPS4) incorporates the principle that “local planning authorities should proactively plan to promote competitive town centre environments and provide consumer choice by … planning for a strong consumer mix … recognising that the smaller shops can significantly enhance the character and vibrancy of a centre ... taking measure to conserve and where appropriate, enhance the established character and diversity of town centres.”
One of Tesco’s key themes is the distinction between ‘main’ and ‘top up’ shopping. It justifies its claim that local shops will not suffer on the basis that it will mainly divert ‘main’ shopping trips that currently go to other centres. However, Tesco also claims traffic impact will be minimised because so many in Hadleigh live within walking distance of the proposed site. We can’t quite imagine there will be a trail of ‘main’ shoppers carrying their several bags uphill from the High Street.
Thank you, Tesco, for providing further evidence of the impact you would have on the trade in and character of the historic High Street. Of course, all our other arguments still remain as valid as they always were: more traffic congestion in our streets, the riverside Conservation Area needlessly vandalised. We don’t know if or when the Councillors of the Planning Committee will finally meet.
Nothing has been announced since the 14th July meeting was cancelled last year. It remains important that the councillors know how each of you feels about this threat to our town, to ensure that they cast their votes accordingly. Please make sure you send your reasoned arguments, ready for when the time comes.
Following Dr Hoppitt’s introduction to Suffolk deer parks last year she joins with Sue Andrews to talk on “Helming Leget, royal servant and Pond Hall, Hadleigh”.
In Hadleigh Old Town Hall, 8pm, as usual, it is free to members of the Society; for others there is a charge of £3.
A special “thank you” to our delivery team who trudged through the snow to get posters to you in December. Hopefully delivery of this issue will be easier, but who can tell?
As the Safer Neighbourhood initiative from the Police prioritised Benton Street over the summer and autumn months, there have been numerous speeding, and other traffic issues reported and tickets and fines issued.
Unfortunately, there are still incidents of huge lorries trying to enter town from the A12 up Benton Street, or leave town from the Industrial Estate, along Angel Street and the High Street towards Benton Street.
CSO Julia Bignell stopped two lorries within 10 minutes, having followed them down Angel Street, just in time to prevent them trying to enter Benton Street and directed them up Station Road. Both were following their SatNav’s instructions!
Signage on the A12 has been improved and I have asked for a sign also to be placed opposite the T junction with Lady Lane where lorries leave the Industrial Estate, directing all lorries to the left, and then onto the by-pass. As the cost of this is very low it is possible that it may be done fairly soon.
Residents of Layham continue to press for pedestrian safety along Benton Street where the pavement is very narrow. Julia Proctor from SCC has seen the issue and, in consultation with residents, drawn up a plan for widening the pavement. It may be tested with temporary cones and markings to ensure that it does what is needed, and this was felt to be a good idea. However, the cost of this work is high and with budgets as they are at the moment a date for the work cannot be promised. It was agreed that the project would go onto the Council’s Locality Transport Plan (or ‘to do’ list) and when money is available the work will be carried out.
There are several other suggestions for works around the town: cutting tree branches to make signs clear, re-painting yellow lines, creating pavement areas and zebra crossings. Each of these of course depends on whether there are funds available to cover the cost and whether the benefits and impact of the work justifies the expense. Councillor Grutchfield has an annual Quality Locality budget that would fund the smaller projects.
Greener Hadleigh is a small group of people who have an interest in more sustainable living and local food production.
Hadleigh is already well served with local food providers and we aim to celebrate these and support and encourage more local food production.
In the autumn we organised a Greener Hadleigh Event in the Ansell Centre which was attended by about 60 people. This looked at different aspects of waste reduction, energy efficiency and environmentally friendly (and historically sympathetic) building materials. We were also supported by The Real Nappy Network and Partridges household department that showed where more environmentally friendly products are already available.
The Sustran (sustainable transport) Network and Hadleigh Community Transport scheme were also represented.
In the Summer we plan to hold a Re-skilling event, looking at some of the skills and crafts that we have, or had, that can be put to good use to make, make do, or mend items around us that will lessen the impact on the environment.
We also aim to visit other local Transition Town groups and events to develop links to other existing skills and knowledge, such as the Apricot Centre in the Dedham Vale. The Ipswich group also holds many events, talks and films as can be seen on their website.
The Transition Town Movement is a growing issue. If sustainable living and a less environmentally damaging lifestyle is something you care about, Greener Hadleigh would welcome your involvement. You can contact the group through Jane Haylock, at the Idler Bookshop.