Search

Asda extension refused

PUBLISHED: 11:19 20 March 2008 | UPDATED: 10:39 03 July 2010

Concerns about draining trade away from Great Yarmouth's traditional town centre have reinforced council opposition to Asda's second attempt to extend its store.

Concerns about draining trade away from Great Yarmouth's traditional town centre have reinforced council opposition to Asda's second attempt to extend its store.

The supermarket wanted to increase its Acle New Road store by 844 sq m, creating 40 jobs and pledged £100,000 to improve the surrounding area including the eyesore Vauxhall Bridge.

However, members of borough council's development control committee voted on Tuesday against the scheme after they heard that town centre footfall had fallen by 7pc in the last two years, and that the extension would be against its own town centre retail protection policy.

Town centre manager Jonathan Newman said that Asda's bid to extend its George clothing range and non-food items would threaten the future of other retailers.

The application was deferred in December for further negotiations and in a resubmitted scheme Asda said it would spend £100,000 on improvements to Vauxhall Bridge and the surrounding area.

But Mr Newman told members that any extra money spent in the store as a result of the extension would mean less money was being spent in the town centre.

He said: “Foot flow in the town centre has eroded quite heavily in the last five years. Additional shops at Gapton Hall and Tescos has had an effect.”

The council heard that 1st East, the urban regeneration company for Yarmouth and Lowestoft and Somerfield supermarket in Gorleston opposed the extension, which would have seen the loss of 29 parking spaces.

Supporting the application Labour councillor Mick Castle said: “This is not some grand new development out-of-town because the store is already there; it's been there for years and they are prepared to put money into the local infrastructure.”

Tory and committee chairman Charles Reynolds said the council should stick by its out-of-town shopping policy, drawn up to protect the town centre.

“This policy is working; we are getting a multi-million pound development at Market Gates. We just can't swing and change our minds,” he said.

Committee vice-chairman Mark Thompson said he could not support the application because of the impact it would have on the town centre. “If Asda gets its extension there could be job loses in the town centre,” he said.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Great Yarmouth Mercury

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists