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Residents and traders in Ulverston behind a movement to oppose the proposed new supermarket on the former Robinson’s Brewery site in the town centre are being urged to carefully consider their viewpoint following warnings issued by Councillor Janette Jenkinson of Ulverston Town Council in relation to a move by Sainsbury’s to attempt to build an out-of-town supermarket.
The ‘Keep Ulverston Special’ group has vigorously opposed plans drawn up by Robinson’s for a supermarket on its Old Brewery site in Brewery Street. This is despite the fact that Robinson’s stressed at a public meeting held with traders on July 21 that a town centre supermarket would help maintain Ulverston’s vibrancy as a market town, whilst an out-of-town supermarket would strangle its trade.
That opinion was dismissed as nonsense with statements from the public to the effect that if they did not want an out of town supermarket, they would not have one. The reality is that, since that meeting, Sainsbury’s has responded to South Lakeland District Council’s Local Development Framework plans and asked for land that had been set aside for greenfield land, opposite the Daltongate Business Centre, to be allocated instead for employment and food retail.
Sainsbury’s property agent, Rawdon Property, says a 2,500 square metre foodstore “is required in order to meet the capacity which has been identified”. Robinson’s has also identified this need, explaining to Ulverston’s traders that 70 per cent of its convenience food spend is currently lost to supermarkets in Barrow. The difference is that whilst its Old Brewery plans would re-divert some of this trade back into the town and continue to encourage shoppers to make purchases in Ulverston, through the creation of a town centre pedestrian link-way linking Brewery Street Car Park with the store, the Sainsbury plans will suck trade out of the town and discourage visits to the town centre.
Robinson’s Director, Mr William Robinson, said: “We welcome the comments made by Councillor Janette Jenkinson, who has echoed our own warning to Ulverston’s residents and traders and actually stated that if Sainsbury’s get the change of land use from greenfield to retail it will “be very difficult stopping them”. She has also stated that it would be “the death-knell of the town”.
“We have drawn up our own plans with the well-being of Ulverston in mind, have developed a website that encourages feedback so that we can listen and amend our plans if necessary and made considerable efforts to meet with those with views to express. The reality is, however, that whilst we are taking Ulverston’s long-term future into account and whilst ‘Keep Ulverston Special’ is fighting our proposals, an out-of-town supermarket is looking like an ever more likely proposition. This most definitely will not keep Ulverston special”.
Opposition to the Sainsbury’s plans can be lodged with South Lakeland District Council. Unless the Council receives objections to the out-of-town supermarket plans, there is a strong likelihood that the change of use could be granted. Responses must be lodged by September 9.
To view the Local Development Framework Plans for Ulverston, click here or view the plans at Ulverston Town Hall and Coronation Hall. Responses can be made through an electronic form available online and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or by completing a paper copy available at Coronation Hall and Ulverston Town Hall and returning this to the Development Strategy Manager at South Lakeland District Council in Kendal by September 9 at the latest.
Those wishing to review The Old Brewery plans again in the light of this recent out-of-town proposed supermarket development can visit www.oldbreweryulverston.co.uk or view the plans at the Coronation Hall, Ulverston.