Supermarket plans set for discussion today

PUBLISHED: 12:00 08 January 2013


A MEETING to discuss a supermarket’s plan to set up in a Somerset village is set for tonight (Tues).

A MEETING to discuss a supermarket’s plan to set up in a Somerset village is set for tonight (Tues).

The meeting will come after Sedgemoor District Council received more than 600 submissions from interested parties on its planning website over Sainsbury’s plans to build a new store on Steart Farm, Wedmore Road, Cheddar, with many comments outlining opposition to the proposals.

Several were sent in on forms entitled ‘Save Our Shops’, outlining that a new supermarket would ‘erode consumer choice’ and impact on the elderly if local independent stores were closed.

Peter Johnson, of Lynch Lane, Cheddar, said: “In the past two years Cheddar has already lost a general store, dairy and butchers. The village atmosphere which attracts residents and visitors alike is being threatened.

“Budgens supermarket will have little chance of survival if the proposal goes ahead.”

Lisa Salter, a shop owner from Wedmore, said: “The Somerset levels is an area which attracts tourists because of its beauty. Do not let another large ugly looking building destroy the views.”

Some comments outlined a desire to see the A371 running through the village upgraded.

Martin Kay, of The Bays, said: “The A371 is already completely unsuited for the type and volume of traffic that passes through on a daily basis.

“In order to build supermarkets, or a reservoir, or a new football ground…the very first thing that must be done before anything else is proper upgrading of the A371, either with a bypass, or through pavement and widening where possible.”

To view all the comments, go to

But Sainsbury’s has claimed it will create about 100 new jobs and will not compete with other stores.

Sainsbury’s regional development surveyor Caroline Vickerstaff previously told the Mercury: “We believe the store should be of sufficient size to stock the range of products that people look for when doing their weekly shopping, but not so big that it directly competes with independent shops.”

Ms Vickerstaff said the store would provide vehicle and pedestrian links into the village’s centre as well as boost the farm’s livestock business.

The meeting will be held tonight at Fairlands Middle School in Fairlands Way, Cheddar, at 7pm.

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