SUPERMARKET giant Tesco believe their proposed supermarket development in Buxton could create up to 150 full-time and 100 part-time jobs – if given the go-ahead.
The planning application, for the current Nestle water bottling plant on Station Road, is now available for the public to view and comment on.
Under the proposals, a 6,601 metre sq store would be built with 358 car parking spaces provided– with the majority of parking located under the planned store. The mixed use element of the site is an outline application to clear the site closest to the road and the construction of buildings to accommodate flexible commercial uses and student accommodation.
In the proposals permission is sought, in principle, for student accommodation providing 107 rooms, and seven commercial units suitable for a variety of uses including leisure, retail and restaurants, together with 32 car parking spaces.
However, all details, apart from access, would be determined for that part of the site at a later date.
Since the supermarket giant first revealed their intention to build a store in Buxton, late last year, public opinion has been divided.
A campaign group launched to fight the proposals fear the development would have a devastating impact on the existing shops in Buxton’s town centre and have voiced concerns about the impact of additional traffic.
Supporters of the Buxton Against Tesco campaign believe the town has enough supermarkets and highlight the fact that the proposed store would not just sell food, drink and household products.
In the application Tesco state that in addition to providing a cafe they would also sell a limited range of clothes, homeware, books, CDs, toys and electricals.
A petition opposing the development has so far attracted more than 5,000 signatures and many of the town’s independent retailers display posters and placards protesting against the proposal.
Campaigners claim the development would ultimately lead to a net loss of jobs, have a massive impact on and see the town lose its uniqueness, viability and vitality.
However, Tesco claim that the major impact of the store would be felt by Buxton’s Morrisons supermarket. Their application suggests 55 per cent of the proposed Tesco store’s convenience turnover (£15.27m) would be drawn from the Morrisons store – which is classed as an out of town development.
Among the numerous reports and assessments included, Tesco state that they have recognised the concern over the effect on town centre traders.
“Whilst it is accepted that there will be a degree of direct impact upon some stores, the centre will remain strong and will in fact have a much increased overall turnover,” the company says.
“It should be noted that it is in our interest to have a vibrant town centre in Buxton, as this will encourage footfall into the area that benefits all traders in the town centre.
“The emphasis on linkages with the town centre that form part of the design will help with links to the rest of the town centre.”