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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

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More time granted for supermarket

A SUPERMARKET has been granted extra time to build a new store in a South Lakeland town.

Booths gained planning permission for premises on the current Bateman’s Toyota site in Grange in 2009.

But it won an additional three-year extension to the approval at a meeting of South Lakeland’s planning committee yesterday .

The issue caused controversy with residents, who claimed it could destroy Grange’s town centre.

Resident Andrew Fletcher addressed members of SLDC’s planning committee.

He said: “If the objective is to reduce or stop the leakage of trade from the town, then a supermarket is the wrong way to go about it.

“It will not offer any benefit to Grange when the one thing we need is a petrol station and this is the thing we will not be getting.

“Shoppers will still have to leave the town to buy fuel and will therefore take their money elsewhere.”

Another resident, Norman Bailey, said the already busy Bateman’s traffic island would become a hazard to local people should a supermarket be constructed.

He said: “This is not what Grange wants. It doesn’t need it, nor does it deserve it.

“National statistics show that supermarkets lead to net job losses in town centres.

“Our high street will not survive and the situation is already fragile.”

Grange councillor Tom Harvey, a planning committee member, urged his colleagues not to award an extension to the existing planning permission for the North West-based firm.

He told the meeting that circumstances in the town had changed considerably since permission was granted in 2009 and that other sites could now be considered as more suitable.

He said: “Booths would essentially be a larger version of the shops we already have in Grange town centre at the moment. We now have a coalition government which is committed to the sustainable high street, but I see no mention of that here.

“What about showing a commitment to localism?”

The original planning permission was granted three years ago by just one vote.

And permission for extra time in which to build a new store in Grange reached deadlock with equal votes for and against during the meeting yesterday.

Planning committee chairman Councillor Ian McPherson then cast a deciding vote in favour of the proposal.

Councillor Brenda Gray said: “I think we should go ahead for all the reasons that were discussed three years ago.

“It was the right thing to do then and it’s still the right thing to do.”

Have your say

Instead of fighting Booths, try working with them. If it is a petrol station you want, tell them and they might include one nearby. They already operate a petrol station at one of their stores so i am sure they would be interested to hear from you. Booths is something of a magnet, in the same way that waitrose is because people will travel further for good quality and different food. There is a booths in media city near me and i can't stay away!

Posted by Chris on 2 April 2012 at 13:56

I think its great that it has been extended, Grange does need a Booths and i look forward to using it.

One other question why does Mr Harveys business at Haverthwaite require brown signs i don't believe its at Tourist Attraction...

Posted by Mike Davis on 29 March 2012 at 10:57

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