CUMBRIA County Council has officially objected to proposals for an out-of-town supermarket in Ulverston.
Retail giant, Sainsbury’s, plans to demolish existing buildings on the site at Lightburn Road so that it can build a 38,890 sq ft supermarket, car park, petrol station and car wash, as well as another three business units.
But planning commitee members at the County Council, who were drafted in as consultees over the plans by South Lakeland District Council, agreed to formally object to the development.
Concerns were raised by councillors that other sites would be better suited, while it was heard that the store would not adequately meet the area’s employment needs.
Planning officer, Richard Heywood, explained that another plan for a similarly-sized supermarket at the former Robinson’s brewery site in the main shopping area of Ulverston would be better.
He said: “The Brewery site should be given preference first before the site at Lightburn Road.
“The second reason for refusal is over employment.
“If, in my view, the sequential preferable sites do not come forward then it’s always possible for Lightburn Road to be demonstrated suitable and viable.
“I think there’s planning merit in that site but for the time being we have to go with the fact that there are other sites available and this site should be allocated for employment use.”
Councillors also raised questions over whether the store would adversely affect smaller, local businesses, while heightened flood risk and concerns over traffic using the A590 to get to the site were also cited.
Cumbria councillor, Peter Hornby, said: “I’ve got a few issues with this.
“My district is suffering from flooding and this will put a lot more pressure on, because everything that runs from there runs to UIverston.
“The traffic on the A590 is horrendous and all we would be doing is putting more pressure on.
“If we are thinking of contemplating this, it definitely needs more looking at.”
But the committe as a whole agreed to formally refuse support for the plans on the greenfield site.
Keep Ulverston Special has also been encouraging locals to oppose the development by writing to SLDC to ‘say no to supermarkets’.
However, a Sainsbury’s spokesman said: “The store would improve choice and quality for local residents and help keep more shoppers in the town.
“Research has shown Ulverston residents are using other towns, such as Barrow, to do their food shopping.”
The decision by county councillors will now be taken into consideration by South Lakeland’s planning committee, when it meets to make the final decision. This is expected to be later in the year.