December 6 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Plans for a long-awaited supermarket complex in Taverham have been submitted.
The development, slated for land near Taverham Nursery Centre, includes proposals for a petrol station, pub-diner, additional shop units and car parking for nearly 600 cars.
The 5.2-acre development would bring an estimated 368 jobs to the area and secure a further 153 at the Fir Covert Road garden centre, according to documents submitted to Broadland District Council.
Public consultation work began more two years ago, with retail giant Morrisons long linked with the project, though developers now say no supermarket will be lined up until planning permission has been granted.
Councillors for the area have called for any potential development to take into account traffic congestion and the impact on smaller shops in the area.
Landowner Karen Drane, a partner at Taverham Nursery Centre and one of the developers, said the new hub would give customers greater choice closer to home, and lead to the upgrade of a problem junction.
“It will bring new jobs to the area, and allow people to do their shopping in Taverham without having to travel to other supermarkets,” said Mrs Drane.
“It’s also going to mean the delivery of the junction between Fakenham Road and Fir Covert Road, which will change everything for the public that use it.”
Mrs Drane said that no supermarket would be lined up to move in until planning permission had been granted.
Developers M Scott Properties say the proposed 45,000sq ft store, with parking for 296 cars, would increase supermarket competition in the area, keep spending within Taverham and create 250 new jobs, while the associated 12-pump petrol station would bring a further eight jobs.
The licensed pub or diner, for which outline permission is sought, is expected to create 50 new jobs while the new units, which are expected to include leisure, clothing and homeware retail facilities, as well as dining and office space, could bring a further 60.
The application says the new shop units are needed to meet customers’ expectations, secure the future of the existing businesses and allow them to grow.
To cope with the additional traffic to the site, the junction of Fir Covert Road and Fakenham Road will be redesigned, and new entrance built to the south of the existing one. A service road to accomodate up to two HGVs and three smaller vans a day will be built to the west of the supermarket.
Councillor Nich Starling, who represents Taverham North, said any development had to be “done in sympathy with the area”.
“People have been waiting a long time to find out what’s going on,” he said.
“There’s a feeling that Tesco have got everything tied up, so people are looking for a bit of choice. But we want to make sure the store that goes in doesn’t drive others out of business. We don’t want empty units.
“People also want to make sure that the entrance and exit are good enough quality not to create traffic jams.”
Councillor Carole Ward agreed that traffic on Fir Covert Road was a concern but welcomed the greater choice.
“The people who have talked to me welcome the opportunity to have some competition for the dominant supermarket chain,” she said.
“I also think people are looking forward to seeing a positive impact in employment in the area.”