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Gloucester Railway triangle - 1000 jobs and a new Morrisons

By The Citizen  |  Posted: August 08, 2011

  • Morrisons plans

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THIS could be the future of Gloucester's eyesore railway triangle.

The £34million plans to redevelop the site include a 71,000-sq ft Morrisons supermarket, petrol station, access road from Metz Way, business park, car showroom, restaurant, takeaways and a pub.

The whole scheme would, if approved, create around 1,000 jobs across the 10-acre site, which has been derelict for 20 years.

The planning application was submitted to Gloucester City Council by developer LXB last week and includes these designs for the new store and layout of the site.

In February, The Citizen reported the supermarket giant's interest in the site. But the proposal has created fierce debate among residents, with many readers complaining that the city does not need another supermarket.

Gloucester MP Richard Graham has given the proposal his full backing.

"I am delighted that the developer has reached an agreement to transform the wasteland that is the Railway Triangle. I have always said that the most important aspect of this development is the opportunity for new jobs.

"Obviously it has to go before the planning committee, but this will give a huge boost to the city. The circa 1,000 jobs will get more people back into work and it represents a positive sign of growth. It will bring more people into the city, and in turn they will shop in the city centre. All in all it's good news."

Leader of Gloucester City Council Paul James said he was excited and added: "Yes there are a number of supermarkets in Gloucester, but this just shows how much we've grown, and the city will continue to grow."

LXB Retail Properties has signed a 25-year lease with Morrisons. Construction at the site is expected to begin in 2012 with completion of the enabling works and foodstore in 2013.

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  • Bonkim2003  |  August 09 2011, 8:01AM

    Absolutely Thomas 1996 - but what a hideous structure. I am not sure there is enough demand for investment in another shopping centre in Gloucester. With the economy down people are already reducing their spending. The site has good road and rail connections - get industries to shift - may be a waste material recovery plant, incinerator and anaerobic digester (food waste) with houses around to take in a district heating system. That will create real jobs and add to the economy - not a retail park when people are running short of money.

  • HuckiePhil  |  August 09 2011, 7:45AM

    Thomas "It's over for the High Street" Can I ask - does anyone see anything wrong in that? If it's true, then town and city centres will revert to residential, tourism and social/domestic/pleasure centres. Sounds OK to me! And if we have to have supermarkets as a generic, then isn't it better that we have as many of them as possible so they can compete with each other to offer best value? I've just come back from a two-week business trip to Bordeaux, and spent a day or two in Bergerac. The centre is old, and a mix of residential and S/D/P. Quiet, peaceful, very few cars, few crowds, almost no mess - the supermarkets are on the ring-road about a mile away and there's one street around the edge of the centre, about 600 yards long, which is a bit Cheltenham-Promenade-premium-brand-ish. The centre has museums, art galleries, small bars (not nightclubs or major drinking chains), restaurants, street entertainment, art and market areas (and a very few tiny, tiny speciality retail). There's no central bus station, train station, taxi ranks, massive stores or malls, huge offices or commercial premises. There appeared to be no 'evening drunkenness' (as the noisiest bars and clubs are on the outskirts) and it was a delight to spend money there! So our specialist retailers move out of the centre to the Quays and along the Southgate link? The supermarkets clean up the messiest holes like the old cattle market, railway triangle etc? Developers turn the centre into residential and S/D/P? Where's the harm? So long as the council adopt a committment to seeing the PUBLIC owned sites maintaining a reasonably high level of leisure, art, entertainment and tourism, I fail to see the flaw. Except that one, of course - for I fear ALL the council owned properties would become residential! I, for one, would be happy for a Councillor or two to be paid to hop on an Easyjet from Southampton to Bergerac airport and spend two days looking at their model. It works.

  • thomas1996  |  August 08 2011, 10:48PM

    London011, you're having a laugh aren't you? - these new supermarkets only sell food so won't affect the city centre!? Just where have you been since 1980 when Asda opened their first supermarket with equal space for non-food in Swanley, Kent. The reason why Tesco, Sainsburys, Morrisons, Asda even Waitrose are ALL extending their existing stores (local examples: Tesco Brockworth, Morrisons, Up Hatherley etc etc) is the expansion in Non-food sales. Fashion, School clothes, electrical, gardening, stationary, TV's, white goods, mobile phones, opticians, health & beauty, dry cleaning, petrol... in fact everything that you used to go to a high street WH Smiths or Boots for is now at the supermarket. They have free parking, they are open 24/7. On-line sales are booming. Tesco are taking on Argos, Boots, WH Smiths, B&Q and succeeding. It's all over for the high street, we have given the supermarkets the planning they needed to dominate. I expect many of the fire damaged shops in London will not bother re-opening.

  • Lobbob123  |  August 08 2011, 9:14PM

    Whatsaname your comments are perfectly valid, does Gloucester need another supermarket? Who knows but why should Network Rail or LXB developments be responsible for providing Gloucester with highly paid, full time jobs? Previously lots of people have talked tripe about the Triangle and nothing has happened for 20 years. The owner of this land has sold it, the new owner is developing it. To make a profit. Ergo, something will happen. If you had/have a better idea, go to a bank, convince of the profitability of your project and do it. Nobody else seems to see the goldmine that others here feel there should be.

  • Jay_boy  |  August 08 2011, 8:43PM

    More minimum wage rubbish jobs. Soon everyone in Gloucester will be working in a shop, unless you commute to work elsewhere. Can we have some real jobs please? This development won't help the city.

  • London011  |  August 08 2011, 7:15PM

    Also...Selina 30... Get real!! A "world famous station"!?! Please move on...the station isn't happening!

  • London011  |  August 08 2011, 7:13PM

    Yes there are 14 super markets but have you ever been in one of them when it has been quiet?! Also, a key point is that thus store is food ONLY and so will not take away from the city centre shops. A job is a job whether it is full or part time. More jobs means less unemployment, means more money for everyone! Don't let it get political, it is a great thing for the city. I suspect the last post was more politically motivated than motivated out of concern for the city?

  • Whatsaname  |  August 08 2011, 7:00PM

    Finally something is being done with the railway triangle. You have to ask though is what is being planned is to benefit Gloucester or deteriorate a very fragile economy further. Lets count how may supermarkets are in and around Gloucester and included future planned ones:- Tesco St Oswalds Tesco Brockworth Tesco Bristol Road Sainsburys Northgate Sainsburys Barnwood Sainsburys Quays Asda Metz way Asda Kingsway (Planned) Morrisons Abbeymead Morrisons Railway Triangle (Planned) Iceland Gloucester Centre Lidl Eastern Avenue Lidl Bristol Road Aldi Bristol Road That is a grand total of 14 supermarkets you could probably include the smaller shops such as coop's, Tesco expresses and other smaller independent shops. Now the population of Gloucester is around 125,000 that means there is 1 supermarket for every 8929 Gloucester resident. These aren't small stores either so they will not only impact each other sales but due to the amount of diversity of products these stores supply it will hit non-food stores. The Mintel survey of 2002 on shopping pattern commented that "arguably the biggest threat to smaller towns and the high street is increased provision of convenience items by major grocery superstores." We have all seen how Gloucester town centre has deteriorated over the last few years not being able to compete due to lack of parking, pay and display parking and such like. Yes we built the Quays to attract new shops to the area but this development was neither in the centre or on the out skirts of Gloucester and we have seen how it is still struggling to fill its vacant stores let alone the centre to fill its vacancy's. Not to fear though as the council also plans to allow more shops to be built in the centre. The other problem is the amount of jobs to be created is around 1000 but I want to know how many of these are actual jobs not part time. The other thing is supermarkets and business always over hire at the start to compensate for a new store crowd. These jobs then get whittled down until the business has enough employees to accommodate its clientèle. As a highly educated society with a high number of graduate students how does these new development help them as the jobs being suggested are not high skilled jobs. The future looks even more bleak for them. I laugh at the Leader of Gloucester City Council Paul James as he says it shows how Gloucester has grown. I would like to know in what way? I also put this forward to Councillor Paul James that on the 25th of July at the meeting of the overview and scrutiny committee he was asked by Councillor Haigh "how it was intended to attract higher skilled jobs to the City." Councillor Paul James "advised that the inward investment he had referred to earlier included businesses with a high skill requirement. The enterprise zone would feature engineering and the success of incubator schemes such as Quays Creative had resulted in some businesses moving to larger premises. He noted that the economic strategy and the Corporate Plan recognised the links between educational attainment and regeneration." The enterprise zone as he said earlier in the meeting was the railway triangle. Where are these high skilled jobs other than the small amount created at the business park. How big will this business park be as this is a 10 acre site the store with its petrol station, car park and access will probably take over 5 acres then there is the food outlets and the car show room. How is this buisness park going to fit in to this space with adequate parking?

  • London011  |  August 08 2011, 5:59PM

    lobbob123...exactly right! Well said!

  • Lobbob123  |  August 08 2011, 5:53PM

    Same old rubbish spouted by "commentators". The land is and was in private hands its not in public hands. Therefore it should never have been on any political agenda such the Urban Regeneration Company's, the Council, the Citizen and all the Community groups. They have merely wasted public money coming up with re-development ideas and "masterplans" for a site they didnt own. This has raised public expectation that a piece of privately owned contaminated waste land could be transformed into a "tranporthub-sportsstadium-publicpark". All this was done for twenty years trying to get someone from somewhere to re-develop this land. No-one wanted to know. Why? - its going to be a nightmare cost for very little return It was owned by Network Rail, they have sold it to a private developer that in turn has leased a section to a food retailer. Simple. Why food retail? Because it will make a profit from this development in a way that most businesses couldnt. The removal of the eyesore is unfortunately the best we can achieve. Gloucester has too many eyesores that stain the character of the City. These in turn lower our standing and put off developtment in a vicious downward spiral. I think we have to view this project as the best achievable use of this land and hope that the removal of one more eyesore will lead ultimately to the kind of development we want eg IKEA, on a more suitable site.