Retailers oppose Co-op planning application
Independent retailers in Canterbury are filing objections to a planning application, which could lead to competition from the Co-op.
The developer-led application includes the Coop as a potential occupier.
Alan Mannings, of Shop on the Green in Chartham, told betterRetailing the proposed 4,337sq ft store would open opposite his store if approved. “I’ve spoken to retailers in surrounding villages who have had a Co-op open near to them last year, and they’ve lost £5,000 in weekly sales,” he said.
“If the same happens to us, we’ll have to cut staff. They are also proposing to build a car park, and the increased congestion from the extra traffic in the area will make it dangerous.
“There have already been two deaths on this stretch of road.” Mannings added there are three other independent convenience stores in the area.
An online campaign has been started by the stores to encourage local businesses and residents to submit objections against the application to Canterbury Council.
Lee Funnell, a member of the public who submitted an objection, added: “This will negatively impact the livelihood of small businesses and their owners.
“There is a large supermarket and retail park a few miles away from Chartham with ample parking. I do not want to encourage more traffic to our small village which already has enough traffic due to the station crossing location.”
If approved by Canterbury Council, the store would occupy the site of a former garage on Station Road. The application was submitted in July last year, but this was refused due to concerns it would cause damage to the local countryside.
In a description of these latest proposals, OSG Architecture said: “The amended scheme has been presented to the parish council and the scheme has been well received. The parish council has issued a letter of full support.” Co-op was unable to comment on the proposed plans as betterRetailing went to print.
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