Residents prepare to fight Pontcanna Co-op plans for a second time

October 15, 2012 5 Comments »

An application has been submitted to open a branch of Co-Operative Food at the former Pontcanna Pine warehouse on King’s Road.

A revised plan to bring a supermarket to an affluent Cardiff suburb has sparked renewed anger among residents living in the area.

Developer Chris Voyle, who initially submitted proposals to build ten flats on the site of the former Pontcanna Pine warehouse in King’s Road, Canton, amended his plans last August.

A new application to Cardiff Council requested permission to open a 2,600sqm ground-floor shop at the site below a reduced number of flats.

But the proposals were recommended for rejection by council officers in February following stern opposition from residents and retailers who signed a petition which attracted more than 2,500 signatures.

Now, they have been forced into action again after the developer renewed its submission for the second time, which could see a Co-operative food store open on the site.

Residents and shopkeepers are set to hold a meeting tonight at St Catherine’s Church Hall, Kings Road, to discuss ways to further their campaign following concerns a supermarket in the area could “exacerbate” traffic problems and hurt independent retailers.

Local councillor Iona Gordon is backing the campaign in her constituency.

She said: “I think it’s appalling. There are more than 300 people employed in the area who work for well established businesses.

“It will attract more people to Pontcanna in their cars, even if they live close by, which will cause more traffic in the area.

“We are already provided for very well and do not need change.”

Sian Morgan, managing director of the 56-year-old family-run off-licence, Philip Morgan & Son, based in nearby Wyndham Crescent, believes it would be the death knell for a number of shops.

The 55-year-old added: “As the manager of a long-established and respected business within the community, I am personally very concerned about this application.

“If a supermarket opened in the area I might as well close my doors for good.

“I speak to the general public an awful lot and the general reaction I get is that people do not want the area to change. They want the area to remain open for small local business.”

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  1. Samuel Mallett October 15, 2012 at 6:31 pm - Reply

    Is there a postal address to direct hate mail for Mr. Voyle? He sounds like a horrible man. Can't he see the area is surrounded by shops already, and anyone wishing for a larger store need only take the short trip down to Cowbridge Road East where there's not one, but two Tesco stores to choose from — not to mention the Tesco Extra just on the other side of park.

    I'm a previous resident of Cathedral Road and am moving back to the Kings Road area at the end of the month. I will be looking for ways to help.

  2. David P October 15, 2012 at 7:29 pm - Reply

    Simple question: if noone wants or needs the Co-op, why will it cause existing local shops to go out of business? Surely it will be the Co-op which goes out of business because noone will shop there.. they'll stick with the independent retailers they are happy with.

    There is a logical fallacy at the heart of all these types of campaigns. No one wants something that they will then subsequently use to the detriment of existing stores they presumably do want. Are people really that inconsistent?

    I think not.. but they are gullible. Independent traders and the green-left lobby are great at mobilising people to act against their interests for the sake of rent-seeking and misplaced idealism.

    We're not talking about a massive supermarket with a free car park. We are talking about a small shop. Let the market prevail: the one people actually prefer will survive. If you want the independents to thrive, vote with your wallet. Don't try to block others from the opportunity to try to offer something different.

  3. telescoper October 15, 2012 at 9:55 pm - Reply

    I attended the meeting in Pontcanna this evening. A representative of the Co-op spoke and gave categorical assurances that his organization was not interested having a store at the site under discussion despite what the developer states in the revised planning application.

    Readers can make their own inferences about what Mr Voyle might be up to, but if I were the Co-op I'd be very unhappy about being misrepresented in this way.

    • Samuel Mallett October 16, 2012 at 11:35 am - Reply

      Thought it was a bit strange, as there's a large Co-operative on Cowbridge Road East already. How did the meeting go?

    • Your Cardiff October 16, 2012 at 6:26 pm - Reply

      Hi there. You can see the latest on this story – with the Co-op saying they have no intention of opening on the site – here.

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