Stroud store wars: crunch meeting for three supermarkets to be held next month

2:05pm Tuesday 17th June 2014

By Kate Wilson

STROUD store wars is one step closer to the final showdown now it has been confirmed all three supermarket applications will be heard at one planning meeting which is likely to take place next month.

The district council has decided to consider the three food store applications together at one meeting which is provisionally set to take place on Thursday July 24.

Plans for a Morrisons store, which have been submitted by the current landowners Avocet Industrial Estates, include the demolition of the current buildings on the site – which is the location of Stroud Metal Company.

The application is for a medium-sized store at the site in Dudbridge Road - a stone’s throw from Sainsbury’s – includes a cafe and a petrol station.

David Hutchison of Pegasus Planning, commenting on behalf of Avocet Industrial Estates, said "We are confident in the Dudbridge Road foodstore scheme we have submitted, which we believe will work well for the people of Stroud, as well as bringing a largely derelict, previously developed site back into active use.

Morrisons, which already has a store in George Street, Nailsworth, was the last of the three applications to be submitted to SDC.

Plans have also been submitted for a medium-sized ASDA store on Daniels Industrial Estate in Bath Road, Lightpill.

ASDA’s head of UK property communications, Doug Wilson, said: “ASDA is the only retail operator to fully commit to investing in Stroud and we look forward to putting our case to members of SDC.

“Our company has been working with council officers and the local community for almost two years and if our application is consented, construction could begin almost immediately, regenerating a brownfield site which has reached the end of its useful life in its current form.

“It would also mean up to 250 jobs for local people and a £30 million investment into the local economy.”

There is also an application for a £15million unknown supermarket at a brownfield site near the Ryeford junction on the Ebley bypass.

A spokesperson for the developers Property Alliance Group said: “Current research shows that three in four Stonehouse residents travel to Stroud and beyond to do their main weekly food shop.

“Our proposal will help people shop closer to home, provide choice, create 275 jobs and will bring back into use a contaminated and derelict brownfield site.”

There is already a Tesco, a Waitrose and a Sainsbury’s in Stroud, a Morrisons in Nailsworth and four Co-operatives between Stroud and Stonehouse – three more would take the total number to 11.

Stroud Against Supermarket Saturation (SASS) was set up after the first two proposals were announced in order to stop more supermarkets being built in the town.

A spokesman for SASS said: “SDC is taking a sensible approach in considering the three applications for supermarkets together, rather than on a case by case basis.

“This will enable a sensible debate about whether or not a further supermarket in Stroud is needed.

“It is clear from the independent analysis that a further supermarket in the area will have a devastating impact on Nailsworth, Stonehouse and Stroud town centres – with up to 12 per cent of trade lost from local shops.

“Consumers are increasingly using the internet to do their supermarket shop which does not require more huge out of town supermarkets to be built – this is about developer greed, not customer need. “

At the time of writing SDC officers had not come to a conclusion as to what will be recommended to councillors as the applicants are still submitting revisions and details of any mitigation packages they wish the council to consider.

All three planning applications are on SDC’s planning website and are open to comments from the public.

The meeting will be open to the public to attend or can be viewed live via the council webcast.

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