Posted by Neil on Monday, 16 March 2015 at 20:00:00
Filed under: Announcements, Political, Shopping
The identity of a supermarket due to be built in Lymm has been revealed.
Secrecy has surrounded which retailer would take over the Rushgreen Road site but it was revealed as Netto when a sign was put up notifying residents that an application for a licence had been submitted to Warrington Borough Council.
Planning permission has been granted for a store on the site of the former Rushgreen Road service station but residents say they were led to believe the application was for a ‘high-end supermarket’.
They have launched a petition calling on the council to oppose the building of a Netto and to re-consult residents as ‘it is not an upmarket supermarket as promised’.
Cllr Ian Marks, a Liberal Democrat representative for Lymm, said: “The company has been inept in the way the name has leaked out. I cannot believe their PR people intended this.
“I had no idea whatsoever who the supermarket was going to be and Netto was not a company that had even crossed my mind. What is upsetting people is that the original consultation document put out by the developer, Brookhouse, stated that the proposal was for ‘a new high-quality food store in Lymm’.
“As well as meaning a quality design for the building, this was interpreted by most people including myself as meaning an upmarket company. Names such as Waitrose, Booths and M&S were suggested by residents.”
Netto is a Danish discount supermarket which traded in the UK under its own name until it was bought out by ASDA in 2010 before returning in November 2014 in a joint venture with Sainsbury’s.
“Rightly or wrongly Netto is perceived to be a downmarket company and is not what people expected,” said Cllr Marks. It has generated real anger and an online petition to try and have it stopped.”
He said there was a real concern that as Netto is a joint venture with Sainsbury’s, the store in the centre of Lymm, an anchor store that brings footfall to the village centre, is at risk.
Cllr Pam Marks who is chairman of the Parish Council’s Planning Committee added: “Although I am disappointed at the identity of the tenant, under planning law, knowing the name could not have affected our decision to support the application.
“People are saying the store is being built on the greenbelt but this is not true because the greenbelt starts behind this brownfield site.”
Tom Whitehead, town planning manager at Brookhouse, said: “We have been bound by a contract with the retailer to keep the identity quiet. Because the site sits next to a listed building we have to make a particular effort with the design and it will be a high-quality building. We held a public consultation at the time and about 400 people turned up, some of them wanted a Booths or an M&S but there was an equal number of participants who wanted to see a discount store.”
Here are just a few of the reasons residents gave for signing the petition –
Tracey Wilkinson: Lymm residents wanted somewhere local to do a full weeks shopping and Netto does not offer enough choice and doesn't supply food from local producers/farmers. I will continue shopping out of town if this store comes to Lymm. Locals feel ignored and disappointed!
Ian Walkley: We've been miss sold in a very underhand manner, without a 2nd thought to the impact that this will have on the local infrastructure.
Anna Fradgley: I appreciate that we need development in Lymm. I was a bit concerned that the already very busy Rushgreen Road will become busier because of traffic, but we were promised a upmarket store. Turns out we have been 'hoodwinked'. Netto is at the opposite end of the spectrum!!!!! Do you think that we are stupid? How is this going to benefit Lymm residents? I think the M&S at the Moto services will have far more business than Netto ever will! Bad choice.
Rachel Flanagan: Firstly, we do not need another supermarket in our village. The road infrastructure cannot cope with it. Secondly, we have been misled that this was an upmarket supermarket which clearly Netto is not.
Lizzie Clarke: It would be a real shame if Netto opened in Lymm, it isn't what so many of us are hoping for. It isn't what was proposed!
You can find the petition here.
Article courtesy of the Warrington Guardian.
Tags: netto, supertmarket, shopping