Supermarket’s village building plans opposed
PUBLISHED: 13:00 11 January 2013 | UPDATED: 14:50 11 January 2013
PLANS to build a new supermarket in a Somerset village hit a stumbling block on Tuesday after councillors voted against the proposals.
Cheddar Parish Council’s planning committee decided it would not lend its backing to plans by Sainsbury’s to build a new store on Steart Farm land in Wedmore Road.
The final decision will now lie with Sedgemoor District Council, which will hold its own meeting on the plans on Tuesday.
Comments posted on Sedgemoor’s planning website show many residents are opposed to the plans.
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.”
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.”
But Sainsbury’s has claimed its new store would 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.
Another meeting to discuss Tesco’s plans to build its own store in the village and Cheddar AFC’s new football ground will be held by Cheddar Parish Council at Fairlands Middle School at 7pm on Tuesday.
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