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Supermarket plan rejected
CONTROVERSIAL plans for a supermarket and petrol station on the outskirts of Shipston have been refused by planning chiefs.
All ten members of Stratford District Council’s planning committee (East) voted to reject the application at a packed meeting at Shipston High School last Thursday.
Up to 250 residents, including rival groups SNAS (Shipston Needs a Supermarket and Petrol Station) and Shipston’s Heart Alive! Campaign (SHA!C) turned out hear the decision following the twoand- a-half-hour debate.
The plans, put forward by Ainscough Strategic Land (ASL), also included a retirement development of 80 cottages and 50 apartments and up to 54 residential dwellings.
Members agreed with the planning officer’s recommendation for refusal which was that the supermarket would have a significant adverse impact on the town centre and would not enhance the quality of the area.
Planning committee chairman Simon Jackson said it had been “the most significant and the most controversial”
application the committee had had to deal with.
Speaking against the plans, Shipston town councillor Paul Rathkey said: “Shipston is an historic market town. It has a unique visual landscape.
This development will irretrievably damage this characteristic.”
Kate King, owner of town centre shop Ivy Heart, said independent retailers would not be able to take a loss in trade.
But in support of the plans, pensioner Gwen Kiely said: “Our younger generation need and deserve the opportunity of employment. It would be shameful if you don’t take advantage of this project.”
Councillor Jeff Kenner, Shipston ward member at Stratford District Council, said: “It’s a win win for jobs and for shopping in the town centre. It will be upheld on appeal.”
Stratford District Councillor Roger Wright said: “It does deliver some valuable assets to Shipston. The extra care housing would be most welcome.”
Councillor Chris Spencer said: “I don’t think it will either significantly detract or attract people. It’s up to the town centres to up their game.”