Supermarket threat

BOSSES at a popular Clevedon supermarket say they may be forced to shut up shop if plans to double the size of the town's Tesco

BOSSES at a popular Clevedon supermarket say they may be forced to shut up shop if plans to double the size of the town's Tesco store get the go ahead.In a letter of objection about the proposals to North Somerset Council, representatives of the supermarket said Morrisons could close if the Tesco development got the green light.Tesco has submitted plans to double the size of its store at Kenn Road and build a new petrol station.It also wants to expand its on-line shopping services and expand its car park to provide 602 spaces.But chartered town planners and development consultants Peacock and Smith, which is representing Morrisons, has written to North Somerset Council claiming any expansion plan could sound the death knell for the supermarket.In the letter it says: "Tesco's retail impact assessment assumes that the Morrisons store is currently overtrading, but this is not the case."The store is undertrading and is vulnerable to proposals such as the Tesco scheme."Morrisons has informed us that the £6.18 million trade diversion from the store that would occur after implementation of the proposal could affect its long term viability."The Morrisons store anchors Clevedon town centre and is the largest retail facility in the centre."If it were to close, then this would result in a major impact on the vitality and viability of the centre as a whole, contrary to the fundamental planning objective to promote and enhance town centres and the retail strategy of the adopted local plan."Even if the Morrisons store were not to close the trade diversion estimated by Tesco alone would be around 28 per cent of the total convenience turnover of the town centre at 2011."This would clearly represent a very significant reduction in activity in the centre."The expansion plans have also sparked concern among local residents who have set up an e-petition on the Prime Minister's Downing Street website.Local traders have voiced concerns at the development claiming a larger range of goods on sale would have a detrimental impact on town centre shopping.Clevedon Town Council planning and environment committee has already recommended the plans should be refused, but a final decision will be taken by North Somerset Council.

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