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Matthew Hancock
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Report says town needs supermarket

Thursday, 14th June 2001.

HAVERHILL has a vital and viable retail centre but could benefit from the development of a high-quality supermarket.

This was the conclusion of a retail appraisal which St Edmundsbury Borough Council commissioned Chesterton Consultants to complete.

Councillors will consider a summary of the study at a special Planning Committee meeting on June 20 and its findings will be used to prepare the Shopping Chapter in the replacement Local Plan.

The report on Haverhill and Bury St Edmunds says both towns have seen significant changes in their rankings. Haverhill had moved up 270 places from its 1980s position in one report and another system showed Haverhill had moved up 24 places in national ranking since 1998.

Sainsbury's dominance of main food shopping was highlighted, with trading above company averages. However, there was evidence that Tesco at Sudbury and Saffron Walden had a strong draw on Haverhill's wider catchment area.

"The development of a high quality major supermarket within or on the edge of Haverhill Town Centre would bring significant benefits to the centre and would clearly help anchor the centre, as well as provide wider benefits through the promotion of greater linked trips," the report said.

If nothing was done by the council, there was a danger that Haverhill could experience a gradual decline. The only site large enough for such a development was the Station Yard site, according to the report.

The Cleales site and Queen Street were both seen as having long-term development potential and there would also be a need for more retail warehouse provision in the Haverhill area.

Haverhill Weekly News

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