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Sainsbury’s gets green light despite opposition

Worcester Editorial 30th Apr, 2014 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016

CONTROVERSIAL plans to build a Sainsbury’s store in Barbourne have been given the go-ahead by Worcester City Council.

The supermarket giant set out proposals before the planning committee at the Guildhall on Thursday (April 24) which will see them turn the In-Toto furniture store, on Barbourne Road, into a Sainsbury’s Local.

Hundreds of people backed an appeal by traders to block the bid back in February, with the petition receiving about 1,000 signatures.

Speaking at the meeting, Tim Bennett, of St George’s Lane North, said: “We are very concerned with the car park having an entrance only 29 metres from the junction of Barbourne Road it will generate further traffic to an already busy junction.

“The existing private car park to the rear of 28 and 29 St George’s Square will now become a public car park and this raises potential security issues to both properties.

“Although we welcome Sainsbury’s into the corner building we have serious objections to the car park.”

Up to 25 jobs are to be created with a 12-space car park at the rear with CCTV cameras in place.

Ed Barratt, Sainsbury’s consultant for the West Midlands, said they would aim to cause minimum disruption to neighbours.

“The surrounding area is not well served with shopping needs and once the development takes place it will prove an accessible retail service selling products local residents would have previously had to travel by car to obtain,” he said.

“Sainsbury’s intend to be good neighbours and would not intentionally open a store which was likely to cause unacceptable disturbances to residents.”

Coun Joy Squires, councillor for the Arboretum, added: “I’ve undertaken a lot of consultations on this, particularly with local traders, and it’s fair to say the majority of them welcome the arrival of Sainsbury’s and see it as a means of regenerating the area.

“But everybody who has said we like this, has also said they are a bit worried about the car park. We don’t think people fully understand just how congested St George’s Lane becomes.”

The bid was approved by ten votes to one, with the issue of traffic not phasing Coun Robert Rowden, councillor for Battenhall.

“It really surprises me there are concerns about people getting out of St George’s Lane,” he said. “One has to remember there used to be a very active football club there and when there was a football match there was a tremendous amount of traffic but we seemed to manage.”

Andrew Manger, regional acquisitions manager for Sainsbury’s, said: “We’re delighted with the committee’s approval for a Sainsbury’s Local on Barbourne Road and thank those who have shown support for the scheme.

“We look forward to welcoming people to the new store and will update people once we have further news on the works.”

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