Meeting today: Chapelfield shopping centre owners raise fears over plans for new Asda superstore in Norwich

An artist's impression of plans for a new Asda supermarket off Hall Road in Norwich. An artist's impression of plans for a new Asda supermarket off Hall Road in Norwich.

Thursday, September 20, 2012
1:44 PM

The owners of Norwich’s Chapelfield shopping centre have raised concerns about the size of a proposed new Asda superstore in the city, ahead of a crucial planning meeting.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

The Hall Road site for the proposed new Asda store.The Hall Road site for the proposed new Asda store.

Asda is seeking permission for a superstore at the old Bally Shoe Factory site in Hall Road, with a net floorspace of 3,406 square metres, with Norwich City councillors due to decide whether to rubber-stamp the scheme today (September 20).

The superstore would form part of a new district centre, which would also include a pub, a community centre, a gym, a 334-space car park, four industrial units and four units which could be used for retail, takeaways or cafes.

But officers at Norwich City Council concede that the superstore proposed at the old Bally Shoe Factory site in Hall Road is “disproportionately large”, while representatives for Chapelfield Shopping Centre have also raised concerns the development could threaten the vitality of the city centre.

Matthew Pochin-Hawkes. from Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners, has written a four-page letter to the city council on behalf of Chapelfield’s owners Capital Shopping Centres to highlight their worries.

He said the proposed Asda foodstore was “significantly larger” than the 1,300 square metre threshold allocated under the city council’s own policies.

Although he accepted that previously awarded planning permission, which has since expired, had set a precedent for the size of the store, he has called on the city council’s planning committee to impose conditions to control the scale and mix of retail floorspace.

He said: “The approved floorspace should be controlled to ensure the development services its local catchment area and does not undermine the vitality and viability of other centres and Norwich city centre.

“To enforce this, we consider that it will be necessary to impose conditions to restrict the floorspace and size of units proposed.”

He said Capital Shopping Centres were keen to see a limit on the maximum floor space of the superstore and a limit on the size of the four proposed retail units, along with a restriction to stop those units being merged.

In the report which will come before councillors, officers at City Hall say the level of floorspace in the superstore would be “disproportionately large”, but that the councillors had to balance their decision with the other economic and community benefits the development would bring.

Asda has said up to 300 jobs would be provided within the superstore and a further 125 over the rest of the development and City Hall officers say: “A significant amount of weight can be given to this in balancing the merits and dis-merits of the application.”

They are recommending that city councillors approve the plans when they meet today (September 20), but with a string of conditions.

Those conditions include a cap on the floorspace, that the retail units cannot be combined and that the developer hands over just over £915,000 to pay for transport improvements.

The scheme has been backed by a number of families who live in nearby Tuckswood and Lakenham, who are looking forward to the jobs it would create and having a superstore on their doorsteps.

Asda, which held public exhibitions on the plans last December, has said the proposals include much more than just providing a superstore and would regenerate a “significant location” in the city.

Philip Bartram, from ASDA, said: “Harford Place has long been ripe for redevelopment, and we are in a position to finally lead the scheme towards completion.

“The history of the site is long and complex, and many local residents have voiced their frustration to us that it continues to sit empty and so far from fulfilling its potential.

“We believe very strongly in the long term benefits of this proposal and aim to turn this long overdue project into reality.

“We welcome the fact that Norwich City council officers have recommended to councillors that our application be approved, but we are disappointed that the significant potential benefits of the proposal have not been more clearly recognised in the council’s planning report.

“This scheme represents a major long-term investment into Norwich by Asda, on a site that has remained dormant and neglected for many years, with no prospect of any other major development taking place there.”

As reported in the Norwich Evening News, the development plans for the area were put on hold for several years after the recession put an original £122m plan for the Harford Place site on hold.

• What do you think of the plans? Write to Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE or email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk

37 comments

  • Ironic and rich whingeing from the company whose monstrous mall has done so much to damage chain and independent shopping alike in the city centre. Go Asda; bring affordable food shopping to that part of the city and challenge Tesco's domination. Hey, at least nobody is paving over a graveyard.

    Report this comment

    Les West

    Wednesday, September 19, 2012

  • one has to shop around these days but free parking is the best way to achieve this.

    Report this comment

    bookworm

    Thursday, September 20, 2012

  • good for you last poster for hating a decent company.we can all sleep soundly knowing thats what you think.you are very important on this site.

    Report this comment

    bookworm

    Wednesday, September 19, 2012

  • last poster--i am very important. free carparks are also very important in a re cession.

    Report this comment

    bookworm

    Wednesday, September 19, 2012

  • I'm sure that when the Chapelfield Shopping Centre opened in September 2005 they were up for 'letting the free market decide it's fate'. Their response to this new Asda seem like 'sour grapes' to me. I think Asda deserve one more supermarket and the Hall Road brownfield site seems ideal to me. Let Asda open their supermarket and once again 'let the free market decide it's fate'.

    Report this comment

    MattW

    Wednesday, September 19, 2012

  • Ah bookworm, personal preference-I never did take to Asda, I don't care for their own brands but the loathe was probably a bit strong-but then they are Walmart. In balance I will say I also loathe places like Hollisters in Chapelfield, Abercrombie and Fitches life style brand for the easily impressed Personally I would like a Waitrose to open somewhere closer than Eaton, but pigs might fly.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Wednesday, September 19, 2012

  • Chapelfield is hardly a food outlet

    Report this comment

    Albert Cooper

    Tuesday, September 18, 2012

  • I know where I would rather shop.do not shop in either chapelfield or Castle Mall. Shops too expensive, I shop at the present Asda , but it is it the other side of the city. A store closer to me would be useful.

    Report this comment

    lucy

    Wednesday, September 19, 2012

  • I'm totally for competition, so Chapelfield, I was pro you coming to the city (especially as your location is IN the city to pull more people in): stop your corporate hypocritical snivveling and focus on being competitive.

    Report this comment

    lockers

    Wednesday, September 19, 2012

  • There is one Asda in Norwich, at least three Sainsburys, a couple of Morrisons and a multitude of Tesco stores around Norwich. I think that the Queens Road Sainsburys and the Riverside Morrisons are closer to Chapelfields than Hall Road. Norwich City Council should be more concerned about how money the new store will generate in business rates.

    Report this comment

    nicholas dasey

    Wednesday, September 19, 2012

  • asda is a good and cheap store.own brand food is good. FREE PARKING as well.why pay more to shop?or browse?

    Report this comment

    bookworm

    Wednesday, September 19, 2012

  • So a derelict site is preferable to one that creates over 400 jobs and enhances the general area. Obviously Asda will appeal and probably win because commonsense, sadly lacking within Norwich City Council, will prevail.

    Report this comment

    nicholas dasey

    Thursday, September 20, 2012

  • good for you last poster for hating a decent company.we can all sleep soundly knowing thats what you think.you are very important on this site.

    Report this comment

    bookworm

    Wednesday, September 19, 2012

  • Its quite funny, if this was a Tesco everyone would be up in arms. Clearly some people dont understand economics. Asda sell CDs, DVDs, Games, mobiles, clothes, hardware, home furnishings, medicines etc which traders such as HMV etc.are already struggling to compete with and have stores in Chapelfield. Asdas buying power is so big that these other stores cant compete with prices. We've already heard how HMV are close to the brink and look at how many stores have already closed on the high street because of competition from Supermarkets and Internet sales!

    Report this comment

    Piranha24

    Wednesday, September 19, 2012

  • If Chapelfield cannot attract famous brand chains, then that's their problem and their incompetence !.

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Wednesday, September 19, 2012

  • i smell a lot of big hairy rats......this deal should have been agreed years ago.

    Report this comment

    bookworm

    Thursday, September 20, 2012

  • I seem to recall that when this was brought up previously a councillor was concerned that it would take trade from Tesco at Harford Bridges. What we have here is a case of the survival of the fittest, if one is not successful then the other will take over. There is no fear of a food shortage in Norwich at present.

    Report this comment

    nicholas dasey

    Wednesday, September 19, 2012

  • I know where I would rather shop.do not shop in either chapelfield or Castle Mall. Shops too expensive, I shop at the present Asda , but it is it the other side of the city. A store closer to me would be useful.

    Report this comment

    lucy

    Wednesday, September 19, 2012

  • The city council and the greens must be very pleased, it will result in less cars going into their lovely city and another nail in the city centre coffin.

    Report this comment

    Rorping

    Wednesday, September 19, 2012

  • asda=free car parking for 3 hours.simple isnt it?

    Report this comment

    bookworm

    Wednesday, September 19, 2012

  • Bookwork in blowing own trumpet shocker!!

    Report this comment

    Horatio

    Thursday, September 20, 2012

  • That's a bit rich coming from you bookworm!

    Report this comment

    Josh Helling

    Wednesday, September 19, 2012

  • toot toot pf bugle. boycott the mall as ASDA mark 2 will not be built.why? grotty housing estates are approved daily.this store would have been a good thing.they say a few trees would have been removed.thats nothing compared to the damage of millions of new houses.

    Report this comment

    bookworm

    Thursday, September 20, 2012

  • Agree with other comments - Chapelfield charge through the nose for rental space so no wonder such a large proportion now stand empty. THey just have sour grapes that a supermarket chain can do it cheaper.

    Report this comment

    ReapnSow

    Wednesday, September 19, 2012

  • I am all for the NEW ASDA we need something new and the competiton will be good. There are NO F ood Stores in Chapelfield Shopping Centre so why are they moaning. Most of the stores in Chapelfield are Clothes,Jewellery and Take aways.

    Report this comment

    sibs Wesley

    Wednesday, September 19, 2012

  • What right do Chapelfield have to complain about this development? When Chapefiled opened it took so much money away from the many independent traders in Norwich who then battled back by launching the Norwich Lanes. Chapelfield do not "care" about the city, they just want to make as much money as they can, like Asda, like any business. They build these places because they know we will shop in them, love them or loathe them. However, why not try and think outside of the flock and use local shops and the market. They might be a bit more expensive than the "loss-leaders" that you find in supermarkets but they keep the feel of the city unique, You want to shop in shopping malls or supermarkets ? then move to Milton Keynes, Stevenage, Swindon, .....anywhere in fact, we've turned the country into clones ! ps I am an independent trader in Norwich, I have been for over 20 years.

    Report this comment

    augustuspablo

    Thursday, September 20, 2012

  • I would like to know why Asda is finding it so difficult to get planning permission for its proposed new store in HALL ROAD when the likes of TESCO seem to be multiplying all over the city?, perhaps its a case of not enough palms have been creased. I f the council is so concerned about the new hall roadasda development, why are we still waiting for the demolition and improvement of ANGLIA SQ, which is truly a blight on the landscape do the council prefer to see festering abandoned brown feild sites which in time will become vandalised , set alight or a travelers site instead of an opportunity to give employment and choice to norwich citizens, shame on you.

    Report this comment

    wickobi

    Thursday, September 27, 2012

  • The Chapelfield company had no compunction about destroying the Castle Mall-which in turn ripped into the independent traders ( and was built on and destroyed an historical part of the city, all for nothing if it does not return to full occupancy and trading.) I loathe WalmartAsda, but some like it and there are a lot of people living close to Hall Road who want food and other cheap stuff Asda sells. Time to review your position in the city Chapelfield, same as jarrolds Debenhams and other shops have been forced to do.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Wednesday, September 19, 2012

  • good for you last poster for hating a decent company.we can all sleep soundly knowing thats what you think.you are very important on this site.

    Report this comment

    bookworm

    Wednesday, September 19, 2012

  • How big is the present Asda in Norwich ? If we don`t have a comparison , how can we have an informed opinion ?

    Report this comment

    dragonfly

    Wednesday, September 19, 2012

  • mall couldnt face opposition. they were crying like a baby--now they have got there own way. boycott them.

    Report this comment

    bookworm

    Thursday, September 20, 2012

  • I don't understand what business it is of Chapelfield's to complain about a supermarket that is nowhere near 'their patch'. Secondly, Chapelfield didn't take the same view when they threatened the livelihood of the Castle Mall shopping centre which IS on their patch. Hypocritical in the extreme.

    Report this comment

    JanieH

    Wednesday, September 19, 2012

  • I've got Free Parking at home, then I use my Free Feet along with my Free Imagination and I find something different.

    Report this comment

    augustuspablo

    Thursday, September 20, 2012

  • I am all for the NEW ASDA we need something new and the competiton will be good. There are NO F ood Stores in Chapelfield Shopping Centre so why are they moaning. Most of the stores in Chapelfield are Clothes,Jewellery and Take aways.

    Report this comment

    sibs Wesley

    Wednesday, September 19, 2012

  • If Chapelfield cannot attract famous brand chains, then that's their problem and their incompetence !.

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Wednesday, September 19, 2012

  • I've got Free Parking at home, then I use my Free Feet along with my Free Imagination and I find something different.

    Report this comment

    augustuspablo

    Thursday, September 20, 2012

  • ".. representatives for Chapelfield Shopping Centre have also raised concerns the development could threaten the vitality of the city centre". Well they would, wouldn't they? It's absurd to suggest that a large supermarket on the outskirts of a city that is the size of Norwich could 'threaten' the city centre, as these 'concerned' competitors know well. More consumer choice is a good thing - and that principle is arguably reinforced by Chapelfield's 'concerns'.

    Report this comment

    airborneyellow

    Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Most read business stories

The proposed Morston Point business and leisure park site at King's Lynn

Failure to secure funding sees administrators appointed at Morston Assets Ltd

Question marks surround the fate of several development projects in and around King’s Lynn after the developers behind the project went into administration.

Read full story »

loading...

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT