Lakes Parish Council opposes Sainsbury's plan for Ambleside

The Westmorland Gazette: An artist's impression of the supermarket Sainsbury's want to build An artist's impression of the supermarket Sainsbury's want to build

LAKES parish councillors have recommended refusal of plans for a Sainsbury’s store on land next to Hayes Garden World in Ambleside.

But the final decision will rest with planners on the Lake District National Park Author-ity’s development control committee later this year.

Parish councillors said it would have an adverse effect on the character and appearance of the town, imperil the viability of local shops and affect traffic along the A591.

A final plans update from Sainsbury’s representatives left councillors highly critical of original information that the store would sell only food.

New plans reveal that 15 per cent of the store space will be devoted to non-perishables including electrical, cookware, home, stationery and clothing.

However Sainsbury’s said they would only be selling a small selection of these items and would not compete with shops in the town. The store intends to provide a weekly food shop for the 80 per cent of the town’s population who currently shop in Windermere or Kendal.

Ambleside Spar owner Cliff Newton said a Sainsbury’s store would rip the heart out of the town centre, which had already suffered a hit from Tesco, and implored Lakes Parish Council to reject the plan. He said the store would be wrong both for the national park and the Lake District, which was seeking World Heritage status.

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Resident Hugh Wright said a Sainsbury’s store was not just creeping urbanisation but was ‘galloping urbanisation’ that would ‘ruin Ambleside’.

Hoteliers and retailers agreed that visitors came to Ambleside to find something different, including independent shops.

However, retail predictions for 2018 showed a possible 17 per cent cut in turnover at Ambleside Spar and Tesco, 12.7 per cent at the Co-op and approximately 11.8 per cent for smaller local shops, raising fears that some might not survive. The council also criticised the plan for referring to a designated traffic-free cycle route to the store, which does not exist.

However, Sainsbury’s consultation feedback showed 67 per cent of people in favour of the store, 26 per cent against and seven per cent unsure.

Local shoppers would continue to top up during the week at local shops, said the company.

There would be four delivery trucks daily, plus two milk and one bread delivery. Sainsbury’s denied it was not interested in promoting local food, and invited suppliers to get in touch.

The store would create 100 full and part-time jobs. Total parking spaces across the Hayes site would be 332.

In response to comments and consultation, Sainsbury’s sited the building further from the highway and reduced its height.

Councillors voted almost unanimously for refusal of the plans, with one abstention.

Andrew Sanderson, Sainsbury's regional development manager, said: “We listened to the concerns residents had and, as a result of that feedback, have improved the scheme. We feel this development would be a positive addition to Ambleside, creating jobs and reducing the distance people travel to do their weekly shop.”

Comments (3)

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6:19pm Wed 12 Feb 14

milomouse says...

I think the introduction of Sainsbury's would be an asset to the village and surrounding area. Having lived here all my life I feel that the introduction of 100 jobs is amazing. Also all the people I know travel every week to Kendal to do there big shop or for those living in coniston or hawkshead they travel to Barrow. People would be able to shop in Ambleside which would save money in petrol and reduce our carbon footprint. Tesco was introduced to the village a couple of years ago but it isn't big enough to do a big shop in their. I can't understand if Tescos was allowed when it is in direct competition with Spar and Coop whySainsburys was refused by the Parish Council.
I would also question how the Parish Council come to there decision and how they can make a judgement . Have they asked the locals under the age of 40? I doubt it because everyone I speak to are in favour of it. Maybe it's time we welcomed change and encouraged large businesses who create lots of jobs into the area so local families can remain in their rural villages.
I think the introduction of Sainsbury's would be an asset to the village and surrounding area. Having lived here all my life I feel that the introduction of 100 jobs is amazing. Also all the people I know travel every week to Kendal to do there big shop or for those living in coniston or hawkshead they travel to Barrow. People would be able to shop in Ambleside which would save money in petrol and reduce our carbon footprint. Tesco was introduced to the village a couple of years ago but it isn't big enough to do a big shop in their. I can't understand if Tescos was allowed when it is in direct competition with Spar and Coop whySainsburys was refused by the Parish Council. I would also question how the Parish Council come to there decision and how they can make a judgement . Have they asked the locals under the age of 40? I doubt it because everyone I speak to are in favour of it. Maybe it's time we welcomed change and encouraged large businesses who create lots of jobs into the area so local families can remain in their rural villages. milomouse

6:30pm Wed 12 Feb 14

Ambience says...

If they don't want large stores in Ambleside why did they allow Hayes to build that monstrosity? Makes you wonder!
If they don't want large stores in Ambleside why did they allow Hayes to build that monstrosity? Makes you wonder! Ambience

9:11pm Thu 13 Feb 14

successful_loser says...

The addition to a Sainsburys in Ambleside will enhance the village and bring more people to the area, who will also stop off in the village and buy other things from the fantastic group of independent traders we have. As a resident who has lived in Ambleside for many years and generations of my family before that, I fully approve of the build. Do these parish councillors who apparently have the best interests of the village at heart really think that other locals don't travel to Kendal currently to do their weekly shop!? They want to think about the people who cant travel to Kendal. If that terrible Tesco 'store' has been approved with their catastrophic customer service levels and poor range of products then Sainsburys should be a 'no brainer' as it is a totally different class of clientele. Plus, spar and Coop need a good rocket to make them realise they are over priced and under ranged
The addition to a Sainsburys in Ambleside will enhance the village and bring more people to the area, who will also stop off in the village and buy other things from the fantastic group of independent traders we have. As a resident who has lived in Ambleside for many years and generations of my family before that, I fully approve of the build. Do these parish councillors who apparently have the best interests of the village at heart really think that other locals don't travel to Kendal currently to do their weekly shop!? They want to think about the people who cant travel to Kendal. If that terrible Tesco 'store' has been approved with their catastrophic customer service levels and poor range of products then Sainsburys should be a 'no brainer' as it is a totally different class of clientele. Plus, spar and Coop need a good rocket to make them realise they are over priced and under ranged successful_loser

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