Supermarket expansion plan gets town council go-ahead

PUBLISHED: 14:00 03 May 2014

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

Archant

A PLANNED mezzanine level and cafe installation at Asda in Highbridge was recommended by Burnham and Highbridge councillors this week despite protests.

At a meeting of the town council’s planning committee, councillors voted unanimously in favour of the 867sqm retail space increase, which will also see the store’s George clothing range expanded.

A representation was made by Alex Turco, speaking on behalf of Burnham’s Chamber of Trade and Commerce, who requested that a figure of at least £100,000 should be contributed to Burnham businesses to make up for lost revenues.

He said: “The chamber does not represent businesses in Highbridge, but this application will have an impact on its members and the wider Burnham business community. The applicant’s retail impact assessment (RIA) identifies a transfer of £1.4million per year from Burnham.

“The chamber accepts that the three Burnham supermarkets will lose the greater part of the revenue but as the applicant’s RIA does not attempt to calculate the loss to Burnham, an acceptable contribution should be no less than £100,000.”

However, the support of the plans from Burnham and Highbridge Town Council meant that a section 106 request for the funds could not be made. Mr Turco said he would again raise his concerns when the plans are assessed at district level.

Councillor Peter Burridge-Clayton said: “I supported the application mainly because it was almost unanimous in its feedback when the residents were surveyed, and it is important to listen to them.

“There will be competition, bust most of the people who will visit this cafe are people who go to the site already. I am not sure about the impact so I continue to support it.”

The application will now pass on to Sedgemoor District Council, where it could be decided upon at the council’s next development committee meeting on May 13.

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