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Two superstore plans in Leominster are turned down by Herefordshire Council
Updated 9:10am Thursday 9th January 2014 in News
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- County planners have voted against plans for two new superstores in Leominster.
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Please send us your comments and views about the decision to refuse two new superstores for Leominster.
Both applications for new superstores in Leominster have been refused.
Councillors have voted to refuse the application.
Vote now being taken.
"We have to find a different way for towns and cities to expand without messing with the complexity of the organic way of how town centres work and profit local people," coun Hubbard says.
Coun Edwards says this site could be more beneficial to Leominster as a housing development, if flooding issues addressed.
Councillor Peter Jones, also a local member, says he is in support of the application however.
The application is "not something to be supported", coun Norman adds.
She asks county planners to support the officer's recommendation for refusal.
The area is well-known as a "wet area", she adds.
Trains are set to become more frequent too, with more time given each time the gates are closed.
Likely to see "congestion, frustration and also potential danger".
She notes that a new out of town superstore in Llandrindod Wells has seen a "ghost town" emerge as a result.
Local member Felicity Norman says the store is "colossal" in size.
Morrisons is 30,000sq ft while this store would be 50,000sq ft.
Mr A Ingram, the applicant's agent, requests deferral of the application to allow more time to address reasons for refusal.
He adds that a new petrol filling station, with discounted prices, could have a real impact on traffic.
There is only one other between Hope-under-Dinmore and Shrewsbury on the A49.
John Verity, of Leominster Civic Society, says 122 objections to the application were submitted online.
Leominster town councillor Peter Ellis says town council recommended refusal of the application due to:
Traffic increase on the road and impact of a new roundabout and pedestrian crossing.
Impact on town centre. Linked trips unlikely again in this case.
Next up for debate is the application for a Sainsbury's store with a petrol station on the current site of steel fabricator Dales - off Mill Street.
Dales is seeking to move to a new site on the town’s enterprise park.
A new roundabout would be built on Mill Street as access for the proposed store is just 150 yards from the railway level crossing, with Mill Street itself part of the A44 – said to be “prone” to tailbacks.
Officers have also recommended refusal for this application.
Application has been refused with nine votes in support of refusal and six against.
No superstore for Southern Avenue.
The vote is now to be made.
Councillors Gary Swinford and Anthony Powers support officer's recommendation for refusal.
People will be drawn into Leominster from the fringes of Hereford to shop here, councillor Bob Matthews says.
It would be "irresponsible" to refuse.
Consumer choice has changed since the 20th century, he adds.
Superstores give "bog standard" choice and real choice "disappears".
Local butchers, greengrocers are put out of business. Those jobs are "real jobs" where money earned is a better standard of money than what supermarkets are paying.
Councillor Mark Hubbard says he has concerns about Leominster town centre.
Leominster has a significant tourism trade and there is a need to look after the town's assets, coun Norman adds.
Asks for refusal of the application.
This site is really a "no-go" site for the superstore, councillor Felicity Norman says.
Would see increased reliance on cars, environmentally unsustainable.
Linked trips very unlikely.
People need places where they can afford to shop, says councillor Adrian Bridges.
Access to the site does not seem to be an issue in this case.
Coun Phil Edwards asks about future of housing for Leominster and whether the £1million for town centre development is still being offered by applicant.
Coun Roger Hunt says the application is extremely important and will have a real effect on Leominster in the future.
"No doubt" a demand for another supermarket in Leominster.
Town centre traders offer personal service. Leominster residents are loyal and would continue to use them regardless of new superstore.
Thomas Panels need to expand and employ more people, Coun McCaull says.
But the business is still committed to staying in Leominster, meaning more local jobs.
Access to the site would be easy. No railways or rivers to consider.
Says there are already some very successful retail businesses on Southern Avenue.
Local members, councillor Roger Hunt and councillor Peter McCaull, now to speak.
Councillor McCaull up first.
Alex Brodie, director of Morbaine Ltd, now speaking.
Says reasons for refusal are without substantiation.
Current town centre supermarkets offer free parking and encourage linked trips to town centre.
David Mifflin, a green grocer from Leominster, asks county planners to refuse the application.
Town centre businesses already been affected by losing free car parks.
Leominster town Councillor Peter Ellis speaking about concerns of the proposal.
Says it is more than 1km from the town centre. Linked trips unlikely.
Recommends application for refusal.
Officer Andrew Banks is presenting this application.
He says officers are concerned that its location, close to the A49, could see it being used as a "one-stop" shop without linked visits to the town centre.
This application was originally put to planners in September and recommended for refusal.
But the committee deferred its decision, despite some support for the scheme from members, while Morbaine was given time to address reasons for refusal recommended at the time.
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