Store expansion to bring £1.4m of business and jobs

Building plans.

Building plans. - Credit: Archant

A NEW shopping floor and cafe at Asda in Highbridge which will take an estimated £1.4million of trade from neighbouring Burnham will go ahead.

The retail giant has received permission from Sedgemoor District Council to install a new mezzanine floor at its supermarket in Caxton Road, which it will use to increase its George clothing range and introduce a cafeteria.

It follows a public consultation held by the store in February which showed ‘overwhelming support’ for the move, but a six-figure ‘contribution’ to help offset the loss of business requested at a planning meeting will not be included.

Overall, the development will increase the stores retail floor space by more than a third, with new jobs also promised - although no definite figure has yet been offered for the number of roles which will be created.

Asda’s estates town planning manager Alan Jones said: “We’re keen to provide more choice and a wider range of goods with wider aisles and more checkouts so that we can continue to provide for our customers’ needs.”

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At the initial Burnham and Highbridge Town Council planning meeting in April, Burnham Chamber of Trade representative Alex Turco requested a section 106 contribution of £100,000 to be included with Asda’s own retail impact assessment suggesting the town would lose business to the tune of £1.4million.

Instead, the sale and display of non-perishable goods will be limited to 46 per cent of the store’s retail area, with no financial benefits given.

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