Plans raise new fears over supermarket on Maskreys site

June 3, 2011 No Comments »
Plans raise new fears over supermarket on Maskreys site

Concerns have again been raised about a controversial plan for a new Sainsbury’s supermarket along Whitchurch Road, after new planning application details emerged.

Sainsbury’s want to open a new supermarket at the former Maskreys furniture store in a rumoured £1m deal.

But business owners fear the supermarket would exacerbate traffic and congestion problems along the street – as the plans put forward no provisions for parking.

Yogesh Patel, shop postmaster at the nearby post office, has lead opposition to the Sainsbury’s store by distributing petitions to fellow business owners.

The 53-year-old said: “Eventually I will have to close down. Eventually everywhere is going to be like City Road because none of us smaller boys can survive when the big boys come in. It’s just a matter of time.

“We are struggling every day here with parking. It hurts to see council planning do these sorts of things.”

Plans show the former Maskreys store will be fitted with a new Sainsbury’s-branded shop front, and will have ATM facilities installed.

The new supermarket will also sell alcohol every day between 7am and 11pm after Cardiff council’s licensing committee controversially gave the thumbs-up in April.

Gabalfa Councillor Ed Bridges met with Sainsbury’s representatives in April to put across the community’s concerns.

He said there are fears the supermarket will increase parking problems, and that delivery trucks will block traffic along the street.

Mr Bridges said: “There are concerns over the logistics of it and the parking in particular is a concern.

“I’m pleased Sainsbury’s say they are trying to listen to the residents but I still do have serious concerns about the parking on the site.

“Already we have problems with Co-op further up Whitchurch Road and we want to alert them to this.”

Mr Bridges said he has had a mixed response from homeowners to the Sainsbury’s planning application.

“Some people are concerned about the impact it will have on local shops, but I have had other people who say they don’t have a problem with it.

“The power ultimately rests with the community. If they don’t want it to be there, then don’t shop there and it won’t survive.”

The supermarket has already received significant opposition. Cardiff council heard objections in April to the store’s off-licence plans from South Wales Police and Heath Evangelical Church – as well as a petition signed by more than 1,000 local businesses and homeowners.

On the planning application submitted by Cardiff-based company WYG Planning on behalf of Sainsbury’s, it says, “The introduction of the facility and Sainsbury’s brand will strengthen the region and quality of facilities on offer in the Whitchurch Road district. In addition the upgrade of the shop front unit, it will contribute positively to improving the environmental quality of the application site.

“It will contribute towards the vitality and ability of an established district.”

Do you live in the area? What do you think about the plans? Let us know your views in the comments below

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