Monday, September 05, 2005

What effect does an ASDA supermarket have on a town?

There is a planning application for an ASDA (Walmart to you Americans) supermarket on the outskirts of our town. It happens to be in the council ward that I represent. The Rayleigh Chamber of Trade are very concerned about the impact this would have on existing shops. Residents living near the proposed site are worried about traffic. Some other residents would welcome an extra shop to go to.

I'm not allowed under the local government code of conduct to express my own opinions or make up my mind in advance of the planning meeting, which will probably be in October. Like all 39 members of Rochford District Council, I am on the planning committee and will be able to vote on this.

However I'd be glad to hear accounts - from anyone - on what effects an ASDA or a Walmart has had on their community (positive and negative)

1 comment:

Kim Ayres said...

There has been something of a furore up here in Castle Douglas, in SW Scotland, because Tesco has finaly got the OK to move a store in.

The local community has been very divided about it. For those who currently go to Dumfries - 20 miles away - to shop at Tesco, it's seen as a bonus that they will have it on their doorstep. However, the local retailers have been up in arms because they are the ones that will suffer the most.

What adds more flavour to their argument is that after the Foot & Mouth epidemica a few years ago, Castle Douglas relaunched itself as "The Food Town". The main street is amazingly clear of most high street shops and there are plenty of very local shops, including 4 butchers, a greengrocer, a couple of bakers and a fishmonger, who are probably all in the front line of attack.

The fear is that once these local businesses have been driven out by Tesco, then the essence of being a Food Town will have been lost.

Type 'Castle Douglas Tesco' into Google and you'll find plenty of stuff about the war that's been raging.

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