Traders fear for future if new Tuffley store gets go-ahead
SHOPKEEPERS are warning they may have to close if plans for a new convenience store in Tuffley get the go-ahead.
Public figures spoke against the proposals for the old Witcombe Service Station in Grange Road at the Gloucester City Council Planning Committee meeting on Tuesday evening, resulting in members deferring their decision until they receive more information on how it will affect local businesses.
Speaking at the meeting Councillor Chris Chatterton, who represents Tuffley and Grange, said: "Some traders in Tuffley say if they lose 25 per cent of the trade, they will close.
"While we accept it is a derelict site, we do not want it redeveloped at the expense of other traders.
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"A previous application for a convenience store in the area was rejected as it would have an adverse effect on trade, and this one is 600m closer to the centre than that one was."
Planning permission had been recommended for approval by council officers but the report presented to councillors to help them in their decision also said: "In my view the decision hinges on the retail aspects of the scheme.
"Members must weigh the assessment of the potential impacts on the local centre against the improved range of goods offered to the local community."
Speaking after the meeting, Steve O'Connor, of the Three Bridges Community Partnership, said the new store, if allowed, would have a big impact on existing shops and would not add much to the community.
He said: "It was important that we stood up at the meeting and gave them all the facts because in my view the consultation was not sufficient and they were not presented with all the information.
"We have adequate shops in the area including in Homeleigh Parade, in Windsor Drive just a few hundred yards down the road, there is a Co-op in Seventh Avenue and of course the Costcutter in Slimbridge Road. It will mean less trade for other shops and possibly lead to stores closing and jobs being lost.
"Grange Road is a dense residential area and householders along it do not want the noise and parking issues replacing a derelict garage which when it was opened was a quiet and sleepy establishment.
"It was not a busy place and people were happy with that."