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'Spend money now on town centre,' council is urged
6:20pm Saturday 16th February 2013 in News
A NEW supermarket for Didcot’s Great Western Park estate will damage trade in the town centre, a leading councillor has warned.
Town council leader Margaret Davies said council bosses should spend £250,000 now on improving Broadway because a new supermarket on the 3,300-home Great Western Park estate will draw shoppers away from the town centre.
As part of South Oxfordshire District Council’s 2013/2014 budget, the money will be spent in Broadway on shop fronts, seating, lighting, wi-fi in the town centre, bins, signs, public toilets and car parks.
Initially there were plans for a convenience store at Great Western Park, but planning consultants RPS have now submitted an application to Vale of White Horse District Council, on behalf of developers Taylor Wimpey, for a supermarket.
The gross internal area of the new store in Didcot Road, Harwell, will cover 2,375 sq m, while the sales area will cover 1,544 sq m.
With the sales area for Tesco in Didcot at 2,242 sq m, and for Abingdon Waitrose 2,457 sq m, Mrs Davies said: “The new supermarket will hurt trade in Didcot town centre.
“It is a strategic threat to the town centre and shops in Broadway.
“A new supermarket at Great Western Park will suck the goodness out of the Orchard Centre and rob Broadway of shoppers.
“If SODC is going to invest in Broadway it should spend the money right away.”
RPS insists there will be no impact on the town centre.