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Southwell residents raise concerns over plans for Sainsbury's store on Park Lane

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Around 50 residents attended a public meeting in Southwell to give their views on plans for a supermarket.

It was called by Southwell Town Council over the proposal by Sainsbury's to build a store off Park Lane.

Concerns were raised that the site was inappropriate.

"It is a good idea, but not here," said one resident, walking out of the meeting.

"The general feeling is obvious."

Sainsbury's is proposing a neighbourhood hub store, offering customers a wider selection of products in a larger variety of sizes, such as more meat and fish products, a wider selection of vegetarian and vegan options, new meal kit ranges, flower bouquets and cosmetics.

DESIGN of the Sainsbury's neighbourhood hub store proposed for Southwell. (51750960)
DESIGN of the Sainsbury's neighbourhood hub store proposed for Southwell. (51750960)

Many residents raised environmental and access fears, with each question met by a round of applause from the room.

One resident, who lives on Park Lane, said he was concerned about the site access.

“We use the Park Lane junction every day, and you go into it blind ­— we consider that a risk,” he said.

Another said: "Why was this site chosen over other areas in Southwell where there is less flood risk?

"This is the worst area in Southwell for traffic with the school and the leisure centre so close by.

"There is also no discussion about who is going to be responsible for the rubbish."

Representatives from Sainsbury's explained the junction on Nottingham Road, which leads to Park Lane, would be widened, while the 30mph speed limit signs would be moved 60 yards away from the junction to help motorists reduce their speed ahead of the turn.

They also stressed deliveries would be made early in the morning, with a few HGV vehicles and smaller vans visiting a day.

A member of Southwell Speedwatch said those changes would make little difference to the driving habits on Nottingham Road.

"I am concerned about pedestrians coming out of the town to visit the store on foot," he said.

"I presume you will be putting a pavement from the Minster School around the bend (on Nottingham Road) to join the inside of Park Lane?

"It is an extremely narrow road, so if you were to put a wider pavement in it would be close to the road.

"Pedestrians from the other side will need to cross Nottingham Road at some point as well.

"Drivers speed down that hill and into the town, but also there is traffic coming out of the town.

"We were out on Nottingham Road recently and 40mph is not unusual, going both ways."

A Sainsbury's representative explained the road designs were in line with Nottinghamshire County Council's standards.

Town councillor Paul Handley said: “I think you (Sainsbury's) have been a bit woolly in your answer to traffic questions, so I am a bit worried by that.

"You said 62% of residents supported a Sainsbury’s but how many would support a Sainsbury’s in this location?

"I would like to see you offer a little bit more to the town with this proposal."

An estimated 40 jobs would be created in-store across a range of roles and levels, with additional jobs also provided through the construction phase.

In a survey by the supermarket, 75% of Southwell residents said they currently left the town to complete their main food shop.

A spokesman for Sainsbury's said: "The store would directly support local businesses and retailers.

"It would enable people to complete their shopping in Southwell, rather than travelling further afield to Newark, Nottingham or Mansfield, thereby retaining expenditure in Southwell which is currently being lost to other areas."

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