New campaign group set-up to oppose supermarket developments
A CAMPAIGN group has been launched to stop more supermarkets being built in the Stroud area.
Stroud Against Supermarket Saturation (SASS) was set up by a group of local people concerned about the recent proposals for two new supermarkets in the area - ASDA on the Daniels Industrial Estate in Lightpill and an unknown store in Ryeford.
Joanne Hampton, one of SASS's founders, said: "We are not against supermarkets but Stroud is already saturated with them.
"We already have Tesco, Waitrose, Sainsbury's, a Morrisons in Nailsworth and four Co-operatives between Stroud and Stonehouse. If we add the further two proposed sites to the mix we will have more than 10 supermarkets.
"Our concern is what happens to Stroud and what happens to the many viable alternatives we have here?"
Stroud Against Supermarket Saturation is having its first meeting at 7pm today, Wednesday, at the Kites Nest pub in Bath Road, Stroud.
"We are hoping lots of residents will come along with ideas for how to take this campaign forward," said Joanne.
"Unfortunately at the moment there is not a great deal we can do until a formal planning proposal is submitted to Stroud District Council however we can use this time to plan a campaign strategy.
"We want to stop Stroud from becoming a doughnut town ringed with supermarkets.
"What makes Stroud unique needs to be protected and fortunately for us the town has a long history of successful campaigns to stop supermarkets being built."
Developers say the proposed supermarkets in Lightpill and Ryeford will bring a total of more than 500 new jobs to the area - although many against the plans question this figure, saying jobs will also be lost if smaller businesses close due to the competition.
"The short term gain of jobs does not outweigh the long term problems these supermarkets will bring to the area and the people of Stroud are looking to protect the long term future of their town," said Joanne.
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