A flurry of supermarket interest in a north Norfolk town has sparked action from business leaders who have launched a campaign to ‘protect’ existing high street businesses in Holt.

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Developers behind Gresham’s School’s masterplan have announced their interest in bringing a second food store into the town centre.

It follows a planning application submitted by Norwood Homes to North Norfolk District Council for an out-of-town development on the Thaxter’s timber and DIY yard site, off Old Station Way.

But members of Holt’s Chamber of Trade are concerned the threat of another supermarket will undermine the existing Budgens store – the largest in the UK – and affect the viability of independent traders in the town.

Chairman of the chamber John Lintott said the group had taken the stance of opposing any plans for a second supermarket in Holt.

But he added that the proposals put forward by Gresham’s would be more favourable due to its location.

These plans would see the Old School House, off Church Lane, which houses the Pre-Prep School, incorporated into a mixed use scheme.

This would include retail outlets, apartments and a small food store.

Tim Holmes, director of Cambridge-based Endurance Estates – which has been appointed to co-ordinate a consultation with the community – said Gresham’s was also sympathetic to the need for extra parking in close proximity to the town centre.

He added that there may be potential to create 50 car parking spaces with access off Station Road.

The Pre-Prep School would then be relocated to a new modern building closer to other school buildings.

Mr Lintott said: “We do understand residents may be in support of a second supermarket but all supermarkets have an impact on a town.

“Visitors and shops are the lifeblood here because we don’t have a castle, cathedral or any exceptional historical buildings.

“People come to Holt because they like the unique flavour of shops. You take away the distinctive shops, what is left to give Holt its name?”

The chamber has launched a new postcard campaign to give visitors an opportunity to express their opinions about the supermarket plans.

These postcards will soon appear in the majority of the town’s shops for visitors to write their opinions on.

It was initially hoped to raise the profile of the Chamber’s opposition to a second supermarket being built off the A148 by-pass but it will now include its opposition to Gresham’s proposals.

The public school, founded in 1555, has been working on a masterplan to develop a single integrated campus to the north of the town.

The school believes the plan will complement the ideas detailed in the Holt Vision Strategy - a £30,000 report produced by a team of retail consultants in January - despite the fact the necessity for a second supermarket did not arise in the report.

It did however identify 45 other improvement measures to enhance the town.

A public exhibition of Gresham’s plans will be held early next year.

● For more information about the scheme ring Mr Holmes on 01223 873750 or email tim.holmes@endurance-estates.co.uk.

20 comments

  • Competition for Budgens would be good for the town but, far more importantly, is the need for more car parking, I've lost count of the times I've been unable to park and driven off to Sheringham or elsewhere.....sort that old, old problem out first before you worry about extra shops.

    Report this comment

    Steve S

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

  • As usual - in common with certain other types of towns - here you have a small, vocal, well-resourced (rich!) elite deciding that others cannot have choice and wanting to set what they see as their town in aspic. Supermarkets have become popular for a reason: people like to go there and choose to do so. No-one is marched into these places at gunpoint. Budgens is expensive and needs competition. Same goes for coffee shop battles in other towns. Give people choice, and if YOUR over-priced choice can't keep up, then tough. Why should others subsidise your choice? You can't have over-inflated prices paid by other less well off people to support the choice YOU want at the expense of others being able to choose what they want. Build it. They will come...!

    Report this comment

    lockers

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

  • First a mass panic attack about a few market stalls now a tantrum about amuch needed supermarket. Someone give the Holt shopkeepers a dummy befor they remember the tattoo parlour.

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    oldchild

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

  • I see John Lintott is actively pushing people to object to the Thaxters proposal. Isn't it in his interest to reject this one - he is employed by Gresham's School.

    Report this comment

    Jeffrey Osborne

    Thursday, November 29, 2012

  • Every business, regardless of its size, has competition Keith S. It's called internet shopping, providing all the choice you'll ever need, and its crippling every high street in the UK. The reason why Holt has the largest Budgens is because of the investment that has been made by the owner, a Holt businessman.

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    Tufty

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

  • The headline: Another supermarkert planned in Holt By DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP The word 'supermarket' has been spelt incorrectly.

    Report this comment

    Stop Press

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

  • Quote: "These postcards will soon appear in the majority of the town’s shops for visitors to write their opinions on" - except that the opinion has to be one of objection, given the wording on the card. Surely a tick box idea, either 'For' or 'Against', with a space for comments would better allow reflection of local's (and visitors) opinions.

    Report this comment

    Archie76

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

  • What a load of twaddle ... "People come to Holt because they like the unique flavour of shops." A load of antique shops, 5 charity shops, some building societies and a load of gift shops with most of the stuff Made in China which you can buy in any gift shop throughout the country. Don't even start me on the overpriced cafes in Holt. I ordered coffee at one in the summer and was asked for £2.75. I expressed surprise at the price and was told "oh sorry that's the holidaymakers price. You must be local then." He then took 25p off!! Holt is on its last legs and I personally have not spent any money at any shop in Holt for months now as I prefer Fakenham, Dereham or Sheringham.

    Report this comment

    samphirelover

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

  • I bet there won't be too many complaints if it is a Waitrose...

    Report this comment

    Betty Swallocks

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

  • If a supermarket was located there could this not solve the car parking issue that people want solved locally? Anyone spending over £5 instore could get an hour of free parking, for example

    Report this comment

    DT

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

  • What a load of twaddle ... "People come to Holt because they like the unique flavour of shops." A load of antique shops, 5 charity shops, some building societies and a load of gift shops with most of the stuff Made in China which you can buy in any gift shop throughout the country. Don't even start me on the overpriced cafes in Holt. I ordered coffee at one in the summer and was asked for £2.75. I expressed surprise at the price and was told "oh sorry that's the holidaymakers price. You must be local then." He then took 25p off!! Holt is on its last legs and I personally have not spent any money at any shop in Holt for months now as I prefer Fakenham, Dereham or Sheringham.

    Report this comment

    samphirelover

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

  • Quote: "These postcards will soon appear in the majority of the town’s shops for visitors to write their opinions on" - except that the opinion has to be one of objection, given the wording on the card. Surely a tick box idea, either 'For' or 'Against', with a space for comments would better allow reflection of local's (and visitors) opinions.

    Report this comment

    Archie76

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

  • I would like to see a Lidl-type supermarket, but on the brownfield site at Thaxters. I note today's call from a government minister recommending building on greenfield sites... Our political masters in North Norfolk have taken so many years to authorise building a badly-needed car park that I would bet that the second supermarket will definitely appear first!

    Report this comment

    MJB

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

  • I find it ironic that when I recently suggested developing this piece of land for a new public car park I was met with ridicule and derision. It appears that those who suggested it would never happen were wide of the mark if only because grander plans were in the pipeline! Should this site be allowed to be developed as envisioned then there is no doubt that it would hurt trade in Holt and further damage the unique Georgian character that Holt is renowned for. Any new development should be sympathetic and complimentary to Holt's existing buildings and character and I fear that this will be far from the case if these plans are approved unaltered.

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    Douglas McCoy

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

  • I can't imagine Greshams allowing a bottom-end supermarket to built on their land. Imagine the impact on their numbers. The Mummys and Daddys of the little Ruperts and Jemimas surely wouldn't allow their little darlings to attend a school in a town with an Aldi or a Lidl. They might come across some oiks. Heaven forbid.

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    Betty Swallocks

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

  • are gresham's serious about this or is it an opportunity for the chamber to say they would prefer this one only for it not to happen?

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    nhs lover

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

  • A Lidl or Aldi would help the poor people of Holt!

    Report this comment

    windup

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

  • "How common, it will attract riff raff to Holt and we don't want that do we?" There's a reason why they have the largest Budgens and that's because they have no competition, so it's about time shoppers had a choice.

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    KeithS

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

  • mr baker will get his way being on both the district council and son on town council as well chamber of trade!

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    nhs lover

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

  • On the rare occasions that I have come to pay for a small basket of groceries in Holt Budgens the total that has come up on the till has made me go "how much!" Any Waitrose is cheaper than there and I feel sorry for ordinary Holt shoppers. The Holt wingers are the same sort of well off, middle class, retired people who screamed that Aylsham "didn't need a Tescos!" A store where at busy periods you can't even park!

    Report this comment

    Cyril the Canary

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

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

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