Hot on the heels of us featuring Tesco’s reaction to the news that plans for their new Old Lane, Beeston, store are recommended to be rejected at a planning meeting on Thursday, Asda have weighed in with their own press release. The supermarket giant says it’s disappointed at the news that their plans to extend their current Old Lane store are also recommended to be rejected by planning officers.
Here’s Asda’s press release:
Proposals for a new Asda store in Beeston, which would create 140 new jobs, have been recommended for refusal by council officials despite support from more than 1,000 people in the local community.
The plans, which would transform an old industrial site into an attractive landscaped area, will come under review on Thursday 8 November, when the South and West Plans Panel committee will meet to decide on the proposal for the store on Old Lane.
Councillors on the committee will also assess a rival proposal from Tesco, which has submitted a planning application for a smaller store on a neighbouring site. Over 1,000 local people signed a petition in support of the new Asda store, in comparison to just 79 signatures for Tesco.
Philip Bartram, Asda’s senior property communications manager, said:
“Our proposal is to develop a much bigger, better store for our customers on the same site that we already occupy. Our plans have received wide spread support from the local community with over 1,000 people signing a petition in support of our application.
“Our application represents a significant investment in Leeds and will create jobs in an area where over 1,000 people are currently unemployed. Its very clear that local people would like to see a new improved Asda store in Beeston and I hope this is reflected in the committee’s decision on Thursday.”
Despite the recommendation to refuse the application, the report states:
“The redevelopment of the site will have large benefits for the street scene of the area given the very poor visual amenity that currently exists. There could be potential uplift in the overall appearance of the area that could again stimulate economic growth and regeneration.”
It also highlights comments from Beeston Community Forum, acknowledging that local residents are strongly in favour of a supermarket and this should be given considerable weight. The forum also advises that the supermarket would give local residents easier access to the cheap prices that supermarkets can provide.
Beth Haigh, Acting Chairperson at Beeston FC, said: “We’ve already received a huge amount of support from Asda Beeston, both financially and morally, since the supermarket arrived in the area last year.
“Beeston is in desperate need of a good, big supermarket where it is possible to do a full weekly shop – without it costing the earth. A new Asda store will not only mean a better place for local people to shop, but even more support for local groups and the organisations at the heart of our community.”
If the planning application is approved, customers can expect to find an expanded selection of Asda’s popular range of own label brands, including Chosen by You, Smart Price and Extra Special, as well as a new George clothing department.
Unlike some retailers that flex their prices, depending on store size and competition, all of Asda’s products are priced at the same low price across the chain.
The new Asda store will provide 140 new jobs for the local community, in addition to the 30 roles already employed at the converted Netto store at the existing site.
For further information about the Asda proposal and Beeston community projects, or to register your views, please visit www.asdabeeston.com.
South Leeds Life will be at Thursday’s planning meeting, which starts at the Civic Hall at 1.30pm.