Independent traders in Coalpit Heath say a Sainsbury's Local will kill their businesses

Gazette Series: Traders and residents against a Sainsbury's Local being built in Coalpit Heath Traders and residents against a Sainsbury's Local being built in Coalpit Heath

A PROPOSAL to build a mini supermarket in a village pub car park has met with anger from independent traders who fear for their businesses.

Shopkeepers in Coalpit Heath say they will be forced to stop trading if Sainsbury’s gets the go ahead to build a Local store on land outside the Badminton Arms.

Traders including the village florist, newsagent, cafe and local store anticipate being unable to match the national chain’s prices if South Gloucestershire Council approves a planning application lodged this week.

Edwina Pennell, who has run the Nisa store on Woodend Road for 25 years, told the Gazette: “We are worried to death.

“We consider ourselves to be the High Street and the government is saying councils should support their local High Streets so we are asking everyone to write to the council against this.

“A lot of our customers have said they will support us and boycott the place if it does get built.”

Box Property Group is bidding for approval to build the 280 square metre store at the rear of the car park and says the increased footfall would help local traders and generate more trade at the Badminton Arms.

“The proposed Sainsbury’s Local convenience store will deliver significant economic, social and environmental benefits to Coalpit Heath,” said a planning statement on behalf of the company.

“The proposal will generate revenue that will help underpin the successful operation of the Badminton Arms as an important local community facility.

“While there is likely to be some cross over in trade with existing businesses, it has been demonstrated that the impacts are unlikely to be severe or significant adverse to an extent where they outweigh the positive benefits of the scheme.”

Feedback from a drop-in consultation event on November 5 found that 59 per cent of people were against the proposal with 37 per cent in favour.

Lorraine Naish, who runs the Truly Scrumptious cafe on Lower Stone Close, said: “Nobody minds a bit of competition but we are all family businesses and this will kill many of them.”

Claire Isaac, owners of the Viaduct Florist, said: “We are a village, we all know each other and support each other.

“We have a Tesco Extra in Yate, a Sainsbury’s in Emerson’s Green and an Asda at Longwell Green, it is not like we need another supermarket.”

Cllr Claire Young (Lib Dem, Westerleigh) said she hoped local people would have their say on the proposal.

“It is important for people, whatever their views, to let the council know what they are,” she said.

The planning application will be decided next year. Go to the planning applications page of www.southglos.gov.uk to make a comment.

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