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Hamworthy residents still waiting for Co-op store to be rebuilt
FIVE years after it was destroyed by fire the Hamworthy Co-op is yet to rise from the ashes.
The old store was razed during a blaze which happened in September 2007.
The temporary cabin which has served as the neighbourhood store since then has been much criticised as inadequate by local residents, who are keen to have a proper supermarket back on the site.
The Co-op has planning permission for a new 10,500 sq ft store on the site – but after a couple of false starts and extensive consultation – residents continue to be frustrated by a lack of progress.
Fred Winwood, chairman of the Hamside Residents’ Association, said ‘the whole of Hamworthy’ was ‘cheesed off’ about it. They made their feelings known in the association’s Placecheck – where it was highlighted as a ‘dislike’.
He said people were frustrated by the fact that notices in the Co-op promised work would start in May/June, then in August, and now there is no date given for the development to start.
He added: “I think it must be affecting the viability because people are so cheesed off they’re deserting the Co-op – they have to shop elsewhere anyway as it’s not capable of providing a full shop.
“I personally think that Co-op has badly let Hamworthy down.”
A spokesman for The Co-operative Food said: “Following the council’s decision to grant permission for a new food store in Hamworthy, we continue to progress plans to build a new store and are seeking to finalise details of the scheme.
“This can be a lengthy process but we would like to assure local people that we have taken on board the comments and suggestions put forward at our consultation event several months ago.
“We are committed to serving the Hamworthy community and continue to trade in our temporary store while this preparation work is carried out. “We look forward to opening an improved store for local people as soon as possible.
“We would like to thank our customers for their understanding and patience during this time.”