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Plans for Barnstaple ASDA and Morrisons stores rejected by committee

By NDJJoel  |  Posted: November 29, 2012

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Proposals for two large supermarkets in Barnstaple have been recommended for refusal by a council committee.

Devon County Council's Development Management Committee, which met yesterday at County Hall in Exeter, believes plans for an ASDA store at Anchor Wood Bank and a Morrisons supermarket at Braunton Road could have an adverse effect on the vitality and viability of Barnstaple town centre.

The committee was also advised that both developments could cause severe congestion on surrounding roads.

ASDA say it is very disappointed with the decision which it says could jeopardise regeneration and employment opportunities.

Although the county council's committee can only make recommendations to North Devon Council, the decision would bolster NDCs case to refuse either application.

Both applications are due to be decided at a special North Devon Council planning committee meeting on December 19.

The development management committee's decision has been welcomed by Barnstaple's two county councillors Brian Greenslade and Chris Haywood.

Both councillors spoke at the meeting and encouraged members to support the recommendation for refusal.

In a joint statement the pair said: "It is now five years on since the opening of the Western Bypass relieved Barnstaple of its status as "the home of the traffic jam".

"Two large Supermarkets at the north and south end of the Taw Bridge will effect traffic flows across the whole highway network.

"We already see traffic stacking up at times of the day along Fairview, Braunton Rd and on the Taw Bridge.

"To add to the current traffic volumes, to build further traffic signals into the network will force traffic to build up on Rolle Street and Mermaid Cross pushing Barnstaple back towards the congestion we used to experience prior to the opening of the Western Bypass.

"At this time of austerity the town centre is struggling anyway without further competition from more out of town shopping opportunities."

ASDA spokesman Lucie Brailsford said the company was not invited to speak at the meeting and is very disappointed by the decision.

She said: "We have been working with Devon's highways team since March 2011.

"All of the evidence we have provided to officers indicates that the proposed Anchorwood Bank development would not have a severe impact on the local road network - either in comparison with existing conditions or versus the planning permission that has already been granted on the site.

"We were not invited to speak at the Committee meeting and were therefore unable to make our case directly to Councillors before a decision was made.

"Anchorwood Bank is an incredibly important site to the town and this decision could put this and any future regeneration proposal and the jobs and investment they will bring to Barnstaple in jeopardy.

"We hope North Devon Councillors will consider all of the evidence when they come to make a planning decision on December 19."

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  • accom  |  December 04 2012, 7:13AM

    I agree that Tesco should have competition. But Asda is plain nasty and chavvy, I'd rather go to Lidl or Aldi. I'd be happy with a Morrisons though.

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  • DB361  |  December 03 2012, 10:43PM

    I'll go against the general consensus here and say that I'm happy that, in particular ASDA, has been refused. The Anchorwood Bank site has huge potential - if a pedestrian bridge is built (as mentioned in the A361 dualling article) then the whole site is withing a 5 minute walk of the High Street. The area has huge potential and to see just another supermarket being built there would be a real waste. I would prefer to see high quality housing and leisure facilities there, with the iconic Shapland buildings retained and converted, to give Barnstaple something that will still look good and benefit the town for the next 100 years - something that an ASDA wouldn't do. If we have to wait a few years for such a plan to come to fruition, the so be it. At least the new Tesco is in the middle of an industrial estate which would otherwise have has no communal value whatsoever, and the same can be said of the proposed Morrisons, which I believe is a far more suitable location for such a store.

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  • Countrylover  |  December 03 2012, 5:43PM

    This is wrong. We want competition for Tesco, especially for petrol, Asda is usually 3p or so cheaper, as was the case a week ago when we had to travel past Bristol a week ago. To say it would cause traffic jams does not make sense, if so why have they given permission for 450 house at Sticklpat, which will cause far more problems every day than shoppers going to a different supermarket. These councillors and committee need to be investigated to see if they have any what is called "vested" interest in Tesco or "any" builder, it all sounds very suspicious to me. If approval has been given for a Tesco Express then it should be rescinded. This decision is totally wrong and doesnt it contravene the "equal competition" rule. The developement commitee needs to re think. These project would certainly emply more people over years than any un wanted wind turbine going up over a month or so.

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  • Spud25  |  December 02 2012, 4:35PM

    why do we need 2 Lidl's and 2 Tesco's in the town get rid of 1 of each of these and that will give room for Asda and Morrisons lol

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  • Peter Manning  |  December 01 2012, 12:42PM

    What a load of old tosh, How can this be fair to the local residents of the area, so we are now left with ONLY TESCO, !!!! is that fair competition !!! NO, i think that the District Councillors are on the TAKE I THINK ??? So we are now left with " major Eye saws, in Barnstaple, and how long will that be like that, for years to come ! no one else can invest in the money to any think else with it.

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  • barumbcfc  |  November 29 2012, 8:34PM

    Don't think tesco needs permission for high st store as it already is a retail store.so for once council can't be blamed

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  • flobberdob1  |  November 29 2012, 7:52PM

    I expect Tesco with its bribes had something to do with this.

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  • Lyntonian  |  November 29 2012, 6:44PM

    A bit unfair as Tesco has two Supermarkets in the town and has further permission for a Tesco express.

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