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Opposition is mounting against a supermarket on Cheltenham's North Place Car Park

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: February 19, 2013

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A PETITION is gathering the names of residents adamant that they do not want to see a supermarket as part of new plans for Cheltenham's North Place and Portland Street car parks.

Around 60 signatures have so far been collected.

The petition was begun less than a week before a decision was set to be made about plans for the site, opposite The Brewery.

The two car parks could become a supermarket, shops, restaurant and multi-storey car park. The major development also includes 143 new homes, each with a parking space.

Residents living near the town centre are objecting to proposals for the supermarket and are concerned it will create traffic woes and kill off nearby small businesses.

Isobel Laing, from nearby Monson Avenue, is part of a group of campaigners called No North Place Supermarket. She and 17 other residents wanted to show that feeling against the development was wider than just those living nearby.

The mum said: "We want to demonstrate that the effects will be seen by a bigger number of people, including those who live in and around Cheltenham.

"We are not opposed to the site being developed, but a supermarket in particular is not appropriate."

The group is concerned about the impact of the shop on the neighbouring historic buildings, the noise to the residential area, the increase on traffic and pedestrian safety in surrounding areas.

With the average shopper spending around 40 minutes in a supermarket, residents are worried there will be more traffic than when people park there to go shopping.

They are also worried about the loss of business for local shops, particularly in Prestbury Road and Winchcombe Street.

Cheltenham Borough Council's planning officers have recommended that councillors give the green light to the proposals, lodged by Augar Buchler Cheltenham and Skanska Residential Development, when they are debated on Thursday.

In the application, the developers stated the scheme would bring benefits including a reduction in the need to travel further afield for basic shopping needs, encouraging linked trips to the town centre.

"The proposed foodstore would bring significant positive impacts and should be treated favourably," it said.

The multi-storey car park will include 642 spaces over five floors, including 308 for the public and 334 for supermarket customers.

North Place Car Park currently has 484 spaces, while its counterpart on Portland Street has 329.

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  • originalbjm  |  February 19 2013, 11:24PM

    Ah, the fantasy world where ice rinks, arts centres, etc. magically appear in the middle of every development. In the real world the only things that are likely to be built by developers are those which will attract profits, either from sales or letting. Nobody has made significant profits from these items for decades, so why should commercial companies invest Millions of £ - yes, Millions - on building these with no guarantee of return for their investment. If you can provide the developers with a business plan which will guarantee them a reasonable return on their outlay I am sure they will listen to you.

  • Cheltonia  |  February 19 2013, 1:18PM

    Quite right, georgette2010, WE don't need yet another supermarket, but I suspect the super market (beginning with M) needs another one, and this position will be a real money-spinner for it! Imagine, free parking in the centre of Cheltenham for a couple of hours and all those extra feet passing the main entrance and having to purchase something, just for the 'free' bit of the parking. Also the opportunity of 'cherry-picking' all those other purchases people will have been seen to have made in the town centre. The death-nell for the park and ride schemes as well. Yes an excellent decision by the (M) supermarket, but not so good for Cheltenham town centre shopping. Why do our "representatives" and public "servants" encourage this sort of inanity?

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  • georgette2010  |  February 19 2013, 12:12PM

    We don't need another supermarket in this town! Supermarkets have robbed many towns of their High Street and individual traders who operate within them. Why not build something in that space to give back something to Cheltenham's people which has over the years been taken away - a facility for the locals to be productive instead of hanging around on street corners because there is nowhere to go i.e an ice rink, arts centre or some other worthy facility other than yet another faceless, corporate and moral lacking supermarket.

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