Concerns over flooding and traffic problems at new Ashchurch retail outlet
FLOODING and traffic congestion were the biggest concerns of residents over the planned retail outlet in Ashchurch.
Blueprints for the shopping and garden centre have been on display at Ashchurch Village Hall.
And people living close to the spot have been giving their feedback to developers after taking a first look at the proposals.
A 48-acre site in Ashchurch, off junction nine of the M5, has been earmarked for the new outlet by Robert Hitchins Ltd.
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The centre will offer up to 70 shops stocking clothing, sports, leisure gear and household items. Alongside the shops would be a garden centre with parking space for 2,000 cars.
While many people have welcomed the plans, they admitted they were cautious of potential flooding and traffic problems.
Linda Franks, 59, from Tewkesbury, said: "I think it will be beneficial to Tewkesbury, bringing people to the town, and lots more to the town centre.
"I'm sure it will offer a great retail experience for visitors."
Tony Garston, 53, from Tewkesbury, added: "It's a fantastic idea. It will help regenerate the whole area.
"Flooding will always be a concern for residents. The developer has to make sure it does not happen, and work with the Environment Agency to sort out any problems."
Lee Thompson, 46, from Tewkesbury, said he was impressed by the plans.
He added: "It is something needed for this area. It'll attract people to Tewkesbury and that's great.
"I'm still concerned about traffic. It is very close to junction nine of the M5, which is notorious for traffic buildup and accidents. "I think it will be a problem.
"If they don't get it right, it is going to have an impact."
Peter Amies, drainage consultant with Phoenix Design which is working with the developers, said discussions have taken place with the Environment Agency and Severn Trent Water about the issue of flooding.
Plans showed the development would be located in Flood Zone One, the lowest flood risk area, which has a less than 0.1 per cent change of flooding.
It would also be set above the flood plain and a sustainable drainage system would be put in place to manage surface water run-off.
The drainage system would release water from rainfall back into the environment via ponds, ditches, permeable paving and underground storage.
The public consultation will finish at noon today.