Store not convenient for us, say protesters

Traders and hoteliers near the former bank on the junction of Dickson and Warley Road in Blackpool

Traders and hoteliers near the former bank on the junction of Dickson and Warley Road in Blackpool

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TRADERS and residents are up in arms against plans for a new convenience store.

Plans for a single storey shop on former bank site on Warley Road, North Shore, have been submitted to Blackpool Council and will come in front of the planning committee on Tuesday night.

It is widely rumoured the store will be a Tesco branch, although the supermarket giant has yet to confirm this.

But the proposals have been met with strong objections by traders who fear it will wreck their businesses if it is given the green light.

Lee Evans’ Spar shop on Dickson Road, North Shore, is the closest convenience store to the planned outlet, which would see the old bank site demolished to make way for the new building.

He said: “It will affect all the businesses but I’m going to be affected the most by this store is opening.

“I’m also concerned about job losses because I think a lot of businesses will have to reduce the number of their employees as this new store is going to take business away.”

Adrian Courtney-Massey runs Spartan Sunbeds on Dickson Road and says the area does not need another convenience store.

He said: “It will do away with a lot of parking spaces on Warley Road and it will affect residents. Because the road is so narrow, 15 parking spaces have to go.”

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Neil Goodier, owner of Brackendale Guest House, Warley Road, added: “This proposal, if accepted, will adversely affect the already limited parking for residents and visitors, who have no desire for an extra outlet.

“This, in my view, is already a location with dangers.

“Wagons and cars entering and leaving from additional entrances or exits will significantly add to the dangers.”

A petition has been signed by frustrated residents and handed to Blackpool Council.

They have also received backing from Paul Maynard, MP for Blackpool North and Cleveleys.

He said: “I would like to see the current building retained and protected.

“I also have concerns about the viability of another convenience shop in such a close proximity to established shops. Although I do believe in competition, this has to be balanced with the needs of a community.

“By making shops unprofitable, these can easily become vacant and a target for anti social behaviour, leading to a downward spiral.”

However, the design consultancy firm behind the project, MCK Associates, said the proposed scheme would be “appropriate in its context.”

A statement given to Blackpool Council said: “It has been designed to function well and has considered the opportunities available for improving the character and quality of the area.

“It helps to address the need for a local centre and is accessible, usable and easy to understand.”

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