PLANS for an Asda supermarket in Christchurch will proceed as planned, after proposals for two other food stores in the borough were turned down.
Following two meetings of Christchurch council’s planning committee which saw schemes for a Morrisons food store at Stony Lane refused as well as a revised proposal for Meteor Retail Park in Somerford rejected, the multi-million pound development of Bailey Drive, off Barrack Road will go-ahead.
Just before January’s meetings, Quantum, the Bournemouth-based developers of Bailey Drive, said if any other supermarkets were given the go-ahead in Christchurch, Asda would pull-out.
Following the decisions, David Hines, chief executive of Quantum said: “Quantum Group has always been, and will always be, committed to Christchurch.
“The reason Bailey Drive was approved by the council’s planning committee is because of the extensive range of benefits being delivered to the community. We, and ASDA, are proceeding as planned and expect to be onsite later this year.”
Developers of Morrisons at Beagle on Stony Lane are still “considering their options” regarding any further action.
During the planning committee for Morrisons on the Beagle Technology site, Cllr Claire Bath, who proposed the refusal, raised doubts over a retail report commissioned by the council, put together by Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners, which said there will be 20 per cent of people visiting the store would then visit the town centre to spend money.
She said there was “no convincing evidence” to show or support that 20 per cent of people visiting the store will make a trip to the town centre.
When asked the rejection of the report, David Barnes, strategic director, Christchurch and East Dorset councils said: “The committee do not disregard the information provided, they consider it as part of the process for arriving at their decision and afford it the appropriate weight along with all the other relevant information they receive.”