Supermarket bids for new mezannine trading level

Asda in Highbridge have applied for planning permission for a new mezzanine floor

Asda in Highbridge have applied for planning permission for a new mezzanine floor - Credit: Archant

PLANS to install a mezannine floor housing a larger clothing range and new cafe at Asda in Highbridge have been met with a mixed response, despite more jobs being promised.

The supermarket in Caxton Drive has lodged a planning application with Sedgemoor District Council to install the new floor, as well as refurbishing the store and its car park.

Alan Jones, Asda’s estates town planning manager, said the proposals had received ‘overwhelming support’ during a public consultation, but Highbridge councillor Bill Hancock said local businesses would lose out.

Cllr Hancock said: “There are folks saying that people will still support the local businesses but they won’t.”

“The little shops may as well shut their doors and walk away.

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“I have been around the area for a long time and seen it thriving, down to the way it is going now, this will damage Highbridge. I think they have got it completely wrong.”

An in-store public consultation was held in February, and 89 per cent of respondants wanted to see a larger range of products available, 82 per cent were keen on having a cafe and 80 per cent asking for more clothing to be made available.

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Mr Jones said: “There was a lot of interest, and the feedback shows overwhelming support for what we hope to do from those who completed the comment forms.

“We’d like 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.”

In a planning statement submitted to Sedgemoor District Council, Asda said the installation of the mezannine would create new jobs within the store and would increase retail floorspace by 38 per cent.

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