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Neighbouring villages of Brundall and Blofield could each get a supermarket

PUBLISHED: 09:50 05 August 2014 | UPDATED: 09:50 05 August 2014

The Ram pub at Brundall which Tesco wanted to turn into an Express store. Picture: Denise Bradley

The Ram pub at Brundall which Tesco wanted to turn into an Express store. Picture: Denise Bradley

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Two supermarkets could be built in neighbouring villages close to Norwich.

A store in Blofield got the green light last week, with a separate bid for a Brundall store out to consultation.

Fears have been voiced that the character of both villages could be lost, but the people behind the bids say new stores would boost the area.

The new store in Blofield, on land north of Yarmouth Road, would be built alongside a new pub and restaurant.

Applicants have not revealed which chain would take on the new store, but in a written submission to the planning committee the owner of S&S Mitchell Newsagent of Blofield said: “We feel that Waitrose is by far the most likely company behind the application”.

The food supermarket, which would have a 100-space car park, with a further 80-space car park for the pub and restaurant, was approved by Broadland District Council’s planning committee last week.

Blofield Parish Council had objected to the application, citing traffic issues and a detrimental effect on the village centre.

The separate bid for a supermarket at the site of Brundall Motor Company, in The Street, was submitted last Monday.

Chris Blyth, owner of Brundall Motor Company for the last 38 years, said he was past retirement age and subject to what happened with the planning application he would seek to retire.

Mr Blyth said he owned the land as well as the business.

EdgePlan Ltd, the Manchester-based agents for the new development, said the new store would have 20 parking spaces.

The firm added it was not yet known which supermarket chain would move in.

In a planning statement, EdgePlan wrote that discussions were at a commercially sensitive stage, but it was expected to be

“a general convenience store operator selling everyday

items such as groceries, alcoholic and soft drinks, tobacco and newspapers”.

Andrew Bevan, owner of Brundall Home Hardware, was part of a successful campaign to prevent Tesco taking over the village’s Ram pub in 2013.

He said of the latest application: “I think there will be growth in the area, but we have to ensure that village life and the village centres in Brundall and Blofield are preserved.

“If we’re starting to see stores develop on the outside of the village, that could affect footfall in the middle of the village.”

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