Supermarket ‘vital for town’

Councillor Barry Birch

Councillor Barry Birch

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A NEW supermarket in Poulton is the town’s top priority, according to regeneration chiefs.

A report into retail provision in Wyre was approved at a council meeting this month.

The study, produced in 2008 and updated in 2011, highlighted the need for the improvement of the food stores on offer in the market town centre.

This would be best achieved by the enhancement or replacement of an existing supermarket or in conjunction with the imminent redevelopment of the town’s Teanlowe Centre, the report added.

The news comes as North West supermarket chain Booths look set to submit an application for an improved store in the coming weeks.

Earlier this year the retailer unveiled its latest plans to the public in its existing shop on Tithebarn Street.

Comments from the eight-week public consultation period are now being considered by the company’s directors and planning permission will be sought shortly.

If the proposals are given the green light, the supermarket will be built on the existing store’s car park in Ball Street.

The new 200-space car park would then be situated underneath the 20,000 sq ft store with additional office and warehouse space included on the second floor of the new development.

Graham Booth, Booths property director, said the store had been trading successfully in the town for 35 years but the present site had become inadequate.

He added: “This is a really exciting project for us and will enable us to offer the full range of goods and services which customers enjoy in our other recent store developments.”

Catalyst

Wyre councillor Barry Birch said it was exciting times for Poulton.

He said: “Booths’ agents have been collating the results of the consultation and the council is expecting a planning application any day now.”

Coun Birch said he hoped the development would be a ‘catalyst’ for further improvements in the town.

He added: “The plans look great and I know the public response to them was positive – it is exciting.

“Booths are a very well respected supermarket and really do offer the public a good choice of quality food.

“We would encourage this type of development in Poulton.”

Negotiations between the current owners of the Teanlowe Centre – the Co Operative Group – and a prospective purchaser are continuing, with contracts expected to be exchanged soon.