Crowds of concerned residents gathered at a public meeting in Cardiff last night over plans by a supermarket giant to open a new city suburb store.
Sainsbury’s has submitted plans to open a Local store at the former Thornhill Cars garage in Rhiwbina – just a mile from the chain’s superstore on Excalibur Drive. More than 100 people attended a public meeting last night at Bethany Baptist Church, organised by Rhiwbina’s independent councillors, to discuss the controversial plans.
Councillors and many community members fear the future of independent shops in Rhiwbina will be under threat if the proposals get the go-ahead. Resident Andy Williams, 73, said: “That shop will not serve this community. There are people in this room who already have shops that serve this community on an individual basis.
“We don’t want that extra development here to divide and weaken our community here in Rhiwbina.”
The site, on the corner of Heol Llanishen Fach and Thornhill Road, has been previously used as a garage, petrol station and car showroom since 1959.
The plans seek a change of use for three retail units on the ground floor – the largest of which will be occupied by Sainsbury’s – and an office retained on the first floor.
According to the applicants, Cardiff-based PMG Ltd, the scheme would create up to 50 jobs, including 25 at the new convenience store.
Concerns have also been raised over the opening hours: 7am to 11pm, Monday to Saturday, and 8am to 10pm on Sundays, and residents have also said the proposed 18 parking spaces would not provide enough room for shoppers.