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Fresh supermarket plans for Cinderford have been submitted by Asda following legal wrangles

By The Citizen  |  Posted: May 08, 2014

Members of the We Want Asda in Cinderford group have made a number of demonstrations in the town

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FRESH supermarket plans for Cinderford have been drawn up by Asda, which remains undeterred by recent legal challenges.

New proposals have been handed to Forest of Dean planners after The Co-operative has twice appealed to the High Court in a bid to thwart development at Steam Mills.

The retail giant hopes to demolish existing buildings on the site to make way for a 4,645sqm store and a recycling centre. The outline plans will be discussed by the district council in Coleford next Tuesday.

Trilogy Developments, on behalf of Asda, said in a statement to the council, that an overwhelming number of people support plans for a new supermarket.

Trilogy also said: “It is clear that there is a large degree of public support for our proposals. Local people would like to have a choice of food store and believe that the new store will provide competition which, in turn, will have a positive impact on pricing and customer service.”

A handful of people have written to the council to object to Asda’s plan, including Max Walrdon, from Longhope, who said he was “horrified” to learn about more proposals for an out-of-town supermarket.

Forest of Dean District Council approved Asda’s last planning application but The Co-operative activated its right to appeal and said it believed the scheme was unsound and went against regulations earlier this year.

Leader of the authority, councillor Patrick Molyneux wrote to Co-op’s interim chief executive Richard Pennycook to express his dissatisfaction with the company’s tactics after a successful challenge in 2012 cost taxpayers more than £200,000 in council legal costs.

He said: “This ongoing legal action to attempt the prevention or delay of further retail expansion is not only harmful to the town, but potentially damaging to your own store’s future.”

Amanda Watkins, from the We Want an Asda in Cinderford campaign, said she hopes the new application will iron out The Co-operative’s concerns.

She added: “Hopefully we can get this sorted out and get the store built – it’s been a never ending saga.

“We have never told people to boycott Co-op, as people without transport don’t have any option, but they do want another supermarket.”

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