Town-centre traders would be seriously harmed by an extra supermarket on the outskirts of North Walsham, according to an official report.

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The proposed store, near the new Waitrose on Cromer Road, would also pose a major threat to Sainsbury’s and Lidl’s, says the report by planning and development consultants MWA.

Developers Scott Properties want to build a 5,575 sq m (60,000 sq ft) supermarket and a petrol station on the former Marricks Wire Ropes site, creating 250 jobs. About 30pc of the sales area would be for non-food goods.

Although Scott Properties has said it has not yet concluded a deal with any named supermarket, MWA’s report says the size of the store - slightly larger than North Walsham’’s Sainsbury’’s - indicated that they hoped to attract one of the big names.

North Walsham Town Council has voted 7-3, with two abstentions, not to object to the plan, subject to a string of conditions.

The MWA report, commissioned by North Norfolk District Council, scrutinised Scott Properties’’ Retail Impact Assessment of its proposal, and its planning statement.

It concluded that the assessment failed to show that the new store would not have a major impact on the town centre, adding: “In particular the cumulative impact, when taken in combination with the Waitrose store, would suppress trading levels within the town centre and the main food stores to unacceptable levels.

“The Sainsbury’s store would experience very dramatic reductions in turnover along with the Lidl supermarket, and both of these stores are important in maintaining and enhancing the vitality and viability of the town centre.””

Mair Stockdale, chairman of North Walsham Chamber of Trade, said her members were strongly opposed to the supermarket. She added: ”It would wipe out the town. It would be three times the size of Waitrose and they are going to stock all non-food items. It would take people out of the town and make it obsolete.””

Town councillors are calling on Norfolk County Council’s highways department to look again at the amount of extra traffic a new store would generate.

The department says the road network could cope but councillors believe they have not taken into account tourist attraction Davenport’s Magic Kingdom, now under construction next to the proposed site. They are also concerned about traffic turning right from the store into Cromer Road.

Among suggested conditions, town councillors want the developers to provide a free town-centre car park and set up a fund to help small businesses in the town. They, and MWA, also suggest limiting the store’s sales area to 3,623 sq m with no more than 1,087 sq m for non-food items.

MWA also believes the more central Lawns site at Paston College could have been considered but that idea has been dismissed by college principal Kevin Grieve.

The application will be considered by the district council’s development committee on March 14.

6 comments

  • This is the one we want, an out of town top named supermarket that we can drive to and get all we want in one go, and fill up with petrol at the same time. Good to see the town council are supporting this. Very soon the old HP site will be being built on, that's 400 extra houses in the town, an awful lot of homes that need there weekly shop and an awful lot of cars that need filling up. So if the supermarkets want our custom then it's up to them to give us the best deals.And it certainly is not for the council to close the door on proven retailers. Years ago my Mum done her shopping at the village shop, but with the ease of getting into town by public transport closed most of these down, now the town centres are suffering that fate, with people's preference now to drive to one shop and get everything they need, times move on people and even North Walsham has to realise that this is the 21st century.

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    "Bin here all me life"

    Thursday, February 7, 2013

  • I completely agree - this is the one that we (the people in North Walsham AND District) want, the online poll shows this and the vote at the Town Council reflects this. But at the end of the day it will be NNDC Planning who say NO, we only have a week to wait but already I can sense the answer. Cromer is allowed a string of out-of-town supermarkets along Holt Road, but apparently the planning dept has different rules for North Walsham!

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    Walsham Boy

    Friday, February 8, 2013

  • i think a tescos is fine they have good quality food at normal prices.perhaps this is why there is so many of them if people didn't shop there they wouldn't open new stores...

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    kaz

    Saturday, February 9, 2013

  • I'm all for it, but only if the supermarket built is not that one that starts with a T and ends in an O. And the proposed superstore to be limited to 30% non food goods? - surely Sainsbury's is far more that 30% non-food goods already, only the rear aisles are food and drink, the front aisles are all detergents, household, electrical, clothing, books and DVDs.

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    NorfolkNincompoop

    Friday, February 8, 2013

  • Whatever happens to the development, planners and councillors should ensure that there is no free car parking allowed as part of the application brief. If parking charges are levied anywhere else in North Walsham, they should, out of fairness to existing traders, also apply to new retailers.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Thursday, February 7, 2013

  • there isn't many shops left in town to be affected but if people still want to shop in them they will we have two overpriced supermarkets and lidls which although a good shop isn't somewhere you can get a whole weeks shop.we need a decent cheaper supermarket and definitely another petrol station so sainsburys have some competition.

    Report this comment

    kaz

    Thursday, February 7, 2013

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

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