Plans for new Asda in Norwich are welcomed but traffic issues are raised
Supermarket giant Asda has confirmed plans to open a second store in Norwich and create around 300 new jobs.
The retailer is proposing to open a 35,000sq ft store with a 350-space car park on the former Bally shoe factory site off Hall Road, in the south of Norwich.
The development plans for the decaying area have been on hold for more than two years after the recession put an original �122m plan for the Harford Place site on hold.
Now the plans are back on the table and major boosts to the economies of the Tuckswood and Lakenham areas of Norwich could be in the offing.
The new proposals also include a range of facilities across the site, including a pub, a gym, a selection of smaller shops, start-up business enterprise units and a new public square.
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Chris Martin, Asda's senior property communications manager, said: 'We are excited to be proposing such major investment into the area and are fully committed to finally developing such a key local site.
'We are aware that the community has been left frustrated by a lack of progress on Harford Place being redeveloped and would reassure people that we are serious and capable of bringing our plans to fruition.
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'As popular as we hope a new Asda store would be, the overall proposals are set to deliver much more than that and would result in a full regeneration of this significant location.'
The 11.2ha site was among more than 20 assets handed to administrators Deloitte following the collapse of two subsidiaries of Norwich property firm Targetfollow in October 2010.
An outline planning consent to develop the site was previously granted to Targetfollow but the scheme never materialised and now Asda is looking to bring the site back to life.
City councillor for the Lakenham ward, David Fairbairn, pictured, welcomed the announcement, but added that there were still areas of the plans he was worried about.
He said: 'My real concern has always been the traffic impact. We get lots of complaints in Tuckswood about difficulties with parking already and I am concerned that when Asda is up and running, there will be enough parking space. That is a prime concern.
'But I am personally quite happy for Asda to set up there because most of the feedback we have had locally has been positive.'
County councillor Sue Whittaker, who was re-elected to the position in last week's Lakenham by-election, added: 'If this brings local jobs for local people then of course this is something to be welcomed. But the added traffic is a big concern and something that needs to be looked at.'
Asda is aiming to submit the planning application to Norwich City Council early next year, and ahead of that has arranged public exhibitions for next weekend at which local residents can learn more about the plans, and provide feedback.
The exhibitions will be held at St Paul's Church Hall on Little John Road on Friday, December 9, between 1pm and 8pm, and Saturday, December 10, between 10am and 2pm.
Further details about the plans can also be found at www.asdaharfordplace.co.uk
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