Warning against new supermarket

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PLANS to build a supermarket on the edge of Shipston-on-Stour should be rejected according to an independent advisor.

Next month, Stratford-on-Avon district councillors will decide whether to approve plans for the supermarket with associated petrol station, customer parking and servicing area on land north of Campden Road.

Opinions on the development have been divided in the town between those who feel the facility is needed and others who think it would take trade away from the town centre.

However, in his latest report, the council’s independent advisor and retail expert Richard Doidge estimates the proposed store will take more than 50 per cent of trade from the town centre, but warns that it could be as much as 90 per cent -– meaning Shipston’s town centre shops “would be virtually wiped from the map”.

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) states that applications such as this should be determined after considering “the impact of the proposal on town centre vitality and viability”.

In his report, Dr Doidge said: “I believe the proposed food store will have a significant adverse impact on Shipston town centre and, in line with the NPPF should therefore be refused on retail grounds.” William Trevithick of the Shipston Heart Alive campaign which opposes over-development in the town, said: “This report confirms the concerns we have been voicing for many months – it is the bigger picture that people campaigning for the supermarket need to see. I’m sure nobody in Shipston wants to see the town centre wither and die, whether or not they are in favour of the proposed supermarket outside the town.”

The development would also include an extra care retirement development comprising up to 80 cottages, 50 apartments and associated care and staff facilities. There would also be up to 54 residential dwellings, a community use building and associated access and open space. The council’s planning committee (east) will make a decision on January 24 at 6pm in Shipston High School.