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Supermarkets 'would make Barnstaple home of the traffic jam again'

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: December 14, 2012

  • TRAFFIC: Chris Haywood.

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Two large supermarkets proposed in a North Devon town have been recommended for refusal by a council committee.

Devon County Council's development management committee believes plans for an Asda store at Anchor Wood Bank and a Morrisons supermarket in Braunton Road could have an adverse effect on Barnstaple town centre.

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

Asda said it was very disappointed with the decision, which it says could jeopardise regeneration and employment opportunities.

Although the committee can only make recommendations to North Devon Council (NDC), the decision bolsters the case for refusing either application.

The final decision is due at a special NDC planning meeting on Wednesday, December 19.

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

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 affect traffic flows across the whole highway network. We already see traffic stacking up at times of the day along Fairview, Braunton Road 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."

An Asda spokesman said: "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."

"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.

Morrisons refused to comment on the decision.

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  • Countrylover  |  December 19 2012, 6:02PM

    Tesco needs competition not only for food prices but fuel, the customer care is also non existant now as they are the only major supermarket. There are two in Barnstaple plus one in Braunton about 4 miles away. I am very suspicious as there is to be another Tesco in Barnstaple which is not needed, certainly a Morrisons or Asda with fuel pump is, but no blaring music please. The councillors have stupidly though have given approval for 450 houses at Sticklepath which will cause traffic jams and flood problems. Many places are flooding due to the obsession with house building which will probably be bought as second homes or buy to let. Normally I am agqinst supermarkets but in this case it would give local peoplejobs for many years, home building will not.

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  • merrythought  |  December 16 2012, 4:23PM

    I have just come back from the Midlands where petrol at Sainsbury's was 7p cheaper than Barnstaple and 8p cheaper than Tesco. That is a good reason for Asda or Morrisons to be allowed here as motorists are being ripped off as at least one would give us more competition and a price war.

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  • normanwsmith  |  December 15 2012, 3:09PM

    I'm not getting too excited-a donation towards a new ccommunity centre or something similar by one or both of the supermarkets usually manages to sway daft councillors!! Stormin

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  • PaulHopper  |  December 14 2012, 9:57PM

    .... and a 3rd Tesco for Barnstaple in the old Bernard Smith building on the High Street.

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  • Abeloth  |  December 14 2012, 4:31PM

    Barnstaple is already the home of the traffic jam as it regularly takes me almost 40 minutes to get from Fremington to The Roundswell roundabout (2 miles), so inclusion of 2 new supermarkets into the area would not impact heavily on traffic more so than before.We do need more competition in order to combat the monopilsation that Tesco have got going on in the area.

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  • birdie  |  December 14 2012, 10:34AM

    This is very wrong not allowing Asda and Morrisons in Barnstaple .Tesco managed to get a second site by secretly buying Brian Fords store two years before it closed.The plans that were put up conning everyone into thinking it was going to be a new Brian Fords now bear a great similarity to Tesco's.I am sure if there is a problem with the road system Asda will assist finacially as they have done in other locations to sort this out.Both asda and Morrisons offer better food and fuel deals and would at least give competition in the town.Also two Lidls have been allowed there is something very wrong with this.

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