Asda developer shocked after call to block Blandford plan
PLANS for an Asda superstore and business units on the edge of Blandford are facing refusal in spite of finding a welcome by the community.
The proposal is being recommended for refusal by officers at North Dorset District Council.
The district's development management committee meets on Tuesday to consider the application on behalf of Asda for a retail superstore, petrol filling station, cafe and business units on land between the bypass and Shaftesbury Lane to the north of the town.
The outline application seeks permission only for the access and layout for the 3860 square metre store covering 2.1 hectares of the 3.2 hectare site which is designated for employment use. And although the store is expected to generate 240 jobs, and the associated business units another 100, it is partly on the grounds that the site is designated for industrial use that planning officers are recommending refusal.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Wednesday, May 22 2013
The primary reason is that the proposed development could adversely impact on the vitality and viability of the town centre.
Stewart Drummond of Property Development Partnerships Ltd said: "We are extremely shocked and disappointed that after 15 months of discussions NDDC has reached this conclusion on our project.
"There seems little justification to leave this site empty for years based on planning policies that are currently being rewritten when it could be developed immediately to create over 200 jobs and new business space to underpin future growth.
"We are also very surprised that after agreeing with the council to fund town centre improvement measures worth substantially more than those accepted from Tesco, we now discover that these are not enough despite there being no objection to our scheme from the Morrisons and Co-op stores deemed to be most affected.
"The project has received overwhelming support from residents, other businesses in the town and from the town and district councillors. We can only hope that members of the Development Management Committee will be mindful of this and vote to approve the project."
The district council commissioned Mark Wood Associates, who also provided expert advice on the recently approved application for an extension to Tesco on the other side of the town, to examine the Asda proposal.
The conclusion reported in the agenda for Tuesday's meeting is that further enhancements to the town centre may not be capable of mitigating the cumulative impact of both schemes, despite the series of measures put forward by DWP costing more than half a million pounds and including an improved bus service between the store and town centre, funding for four years for a town centre manager, and shop front improvements.