On Monday we reported that a planning application had been made to develop the Red Lion pub car park in Marford – for it to become a ‘convenience store’. What has been reported locally is that the plans are for a national supermarket chain – rumoured to be Tesco – to occupy the site.
On Tuesday evening a meeting of local traders took place, and several local residents also attended.
One local resident who attended told us “Its very worrying for the existing village shops, all of which serve both Marford and Gresford very well, with a Spar, Bakery, Chemist, Newsagent, Post Office, Building Society, Travel Agent, Hairdresser and Taxi Firm. Of course you cannot site unfair competition, but the impact this store would have on the village would be huge, it would also affect Rossett.”
“Aside from that, the traffic implications (all of which have been very comprehensively submitted in the huge documents to the council), are very troubling, huge lorries coming in and out at the top of Marford Hill, massive increase in traffic, close to a primary school and fit to bursting bus stop, not to mention a zebra crossing and very awkward turning. Surely the bypass was built to avoid heavy lorries, but this seems to be encouraging them.”
The design of the new building was criticised referring to it as looking ‘like a cowshed’.
The timing of the planning application was also questioned with one resident saying “Of course there will be supporters of this proposed development but the general opinion was that very few people are aware of it, due to the sneaky nature of putting in the application now, over Christmas time, it really isn’t needed, the existing shops have it covered and as a village are trying so hard to keep its identity and community, with plans ongoing to improve and without wishing to sound emotive, it will completely destroy the village as it stands.”
The meeting was chaired by Peter Minchom who runs the excellent ClearBlack wine store (Site: http://www.clearblackwine.com ) who told us locals had only just heard about the plans. He said “We have become very organised very quickly, we have an action plan, have letters going out and every store in the villages will be trying to get their customers to rally around and write in to oppose it”.
Mr Minchom said that neighbouring residential properties to the rear of the proposed development had not been told of the potential development on their (back) doorstep – describing it as ‘outrageous’.
Speaking of the impact to the identity of the community he said “Such a store will not offer anything different, everything in the proposal is already on offer. The incentive to have individuality is disappearing.”