Williton supermarket plans divides local opinion

  • 25 April 2013
  • From the section Somerset
Williton village centre
Image caption Some people in Williton believe a new supermarket would ruin trade for existing local shops

Plans for a supermarket to be built in a Somerset village are set to be decided by councillors later.

Businessman David Gliddon, who proposed the scheme, has said the store in Williton would create 150 jobs and offer more choice for shoppers.

But a local group, Love Williton, has said it would destroy trade for local shops and cause traffic chaos.

A total of 532 people have written to West Somerset Council with 139 in support of the plans.

Mr Gliddon, who owns the land, said: "I'm hopeful that the councillors will see the enormous benefits that the proposals will bring to Williton.

"We're going create 150 jobs, we're bringing the opportunity to create a supermarket with a lot of shopping with a lot of parking available to all shoppers to Williton, not just customers to the supermarket but to all people.

"I'm hopeful that the councillors will see the enormous benefits that the proposals will bring to Williton."

The supermarket plans also include space for offices, about 175 parking spaces and four smaller shops.

Edward Martin from the group Love Williton said: "The majority of people are wise enough to understand that whilst there are promises of low prices and more choice ultimately if you lost the local stores they feel you would end up with a village with two centres, traffic chaos and it's just totally inappropriate for a village of this size."

Planning officers have recommended the plans for refusal stating it would adversely impact trade for local shops and would reduce the amount of land available for housing developments.

The planning committee is due to meet later.

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