PLANS put forward by a car dealer to replace its workshop in Charfield with a supermarket have received mixed reception in the village.

Charfield is set to more than double in size over the coming years with the West of England Joint Spatial Plan (JSP) targeting the village for 1,200 new homes by 2036.

As a result many have called for improvements to infrastructure in order to manage the pressures of new and existing residents, with the MJ Fews proposal seeming a part of the solution.

The building on Wotton Road, which is currently used for tyre fitting and car repairs, would be replaced with a retail unit, and an increase in parking with 21 spaces.

The development’s agent, Matthew Blaken from David James and Partners, said that, at this stage, it is unknown what business would use the space but that expressions of interest had been submitted from food retailers.

He said “There is a demand for that within South Gloucestershire but it might not even be for that. It will be offered to prospective tenants once planning permission has been achieved.

“It is the centre of the village and with an emerging plan coming out for Charfield, it is a very well located site.

“Based on the fact that Charfield will grow around the outside of what is already there, it will have easy access and be within walking distance from the current development and any further proposed development.”

Mr Blaken added that comments had been made on the planning application regarding a listed building on the site, which MJ Fews have responded to by saying they would submit updated proposals to retain that site.

He said: “We are working positively with the council to present an acceptable scheme, which will more than likely now retain the Bank House at the front of the site.”

However, having previously joined the parish council in objecting to the proposals during their full meeting on November 14, council chairman Cllr Mark Rosher said it was based on “poor timing”.

“As a speculative application it works against the proposed planned expansion of Charfield, as outlined in the Joint Spatial Strategy now moving to consultation.

“If Charfield is to more than double in size, as stated in the JSP, then that expansion must be planned very carefully.

“The application makes such planning more difficult, by removing options on a strategically large site, and is therefore untimely and unwelcome.

“Charfield Parish Council recognises that any expansion of the village would need additional local retail provision, but until the plans for Charfield in both the JSP and South Gloucestershire Local Plan are confirmed, along with the plans to reopen Charfield Railway Station, it feels no application should be permitted at this location.”

Cllr John O’Neill, Charfield’s representative on South Gloucestershire Council, said that with the potential expansion of the village, agreed that it would be of vital importance to manage the infrastructure to meet the needs of the growing population.

He said: “Whilst in favour of the facility I feel the application is premature and would prefer to see a plan that delivers a blueprint for all the required infrastructure for Charfield and everyone is working on the same page.

“There is no doubt that a retail unit of this size would be beneficial to a growing population in Charfield.”