THE newest supermarket to arrive in the Lake District is starting to take shape – but not without criticisms.
Contractors on behalf of Morrisons are now working inside the former Style Trading premises on Main Road, Windermere, while a recruitment drive for new sales assistants has been launched.
At a Lake District National Park Authority planning meeting members agreed to a number of alterations for the new store – but faced several general letters of objection to the new development.
Against the wishes of some objectors, the retailer has not been subject to the usual comprehensive plan-ning process that can take place when a new supermarket arrives.
Instead, the takeover of the building by the supermarket chain is being treated as merely alterations to existing planning consent for the building, which was first granted in 1994.
This point was made by officials in papers before members, which said: “Some letters (of objection) query the status of the application suggesting that we need to consider the full implications of the development rather than just treating it as alterations.”
Windermere Town Council has campaigned for shopping trolleys to be kept inside the store rather than outside as they believe it would detract from the street’s status in a Conservation Area.
Windermere and Bowness Civic Society also wrote to the authority with concerns about potential opening hours of 6am to 11pm, which they regard as ‘unneighbourly’.
One objector also believed that the supermarket – a third for the town including the Co-operative and Booths – could combine to squeeze small traders, while another felt ‘a brand such as Morrisons’ was totally out of keeping with the area’.
Other concerns have been expressed about floodlights and the impact of supermarket traffic on the town’s one-way system.
However, planners said they could only consider issues that were material to the application.
The report said: ”On the basis that the proposed use of the premises will comply with the existing permission and its conditions, we can only consider the proposals applied for.
“The issues of access, deliveries, hours of opening and the effect of a new supermarket store of this size, are not therefore, material to our determination of this application.”
The application was granted with conditions – and it was said that Morrisons had agreed not to put a trolley park at the front of the building.