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The planning application has now been submitted for a grocery store and two-tier car park in Ivybridge.
Part of the “Ivybridge Regeneration Project”, the application is for a 1,950sqm food store [SHDC’s “preferred operator” is Aldi Stores], a two tier car park and “associated highway works and public real enhancements” in the centre of the town.
LHC Design - site location plan. Red: Application area Blue: Ownership boundary
Plans for this project have been bubbling under the surface for years and a planning application has now been submitted by LHC Design on behalf of South Hams District Council.
The application states that SHDC would be looking for a “national retailer” to act as a tenant, and that the project is designed to “retain and attract shoppers to the town centre” by “providing an offer not currently available…residents given greater choice”. It also says it will create between 30 and 40 new jobs.
The design and access statement for the application says that the project aims to “encourage shared trips and drive footfall”, “support the existing high street retailers of Ivybridge” and “reduce the number of car journeys outside of the town and encourage an increase in active travel for short journeys within the locality”.
Parking is one of the main points of contention with the project, with the two town centre car parks - Glanvilles Mill and Leonards Road - being swallowed by the plans.
The new two-storey car park will increase the number of parking spaces by seven, with a smaller car park being kept on the edge of the site with 12 spaces being retained by SHDC, as well as four taxi bays, four minibus spaces and two recycling bays.
The application also states that the car park will “continue to facilitate visitors to the town centre” and will have “sufficient capacity to accommodate both customers of the proposed food store and town centre visitors”.
23 trees would be lost in the plans, but the project commits to replacing them with 95 trees, either on site or “at designated sites/projects around Ivybridge”.
The current skate park would also be sacrificed on the alter of this project, but SHDC say they are “committed to retaining skate park provision within the centre of Ivybridge” and have put aside £100,000 for the provision of a new skate park, which they say “better serves the needs of the skate community than the existing poor quality skate park”.
LHC Design - store design
Norma Allen has opposed the project, writing: “I oppose the application as Ivybridge Town does not need another supermarket with the loss of the main car park.
“It will be a huge loss for all the businesses in the town. The main car park is used by not only the general public but by business owners and workers in the town.
“There had always been a huge issue with parking and regeneration is needed more on the parking then another supermarket. We already have Co-op Tesco and Morrisons in the town and Tesco superstore on Lee Mill.”
Rona Perry commented, saying: “It is not reasonable for residents and businesses to withdraw parking for six months during the build. Many small businesses rely on customers being able to ‘pop in’...consider staggering the closures so only one of the car parks is out of use at a time.
“The promised skate park should be built before the removal of the old one. Young people have had a hard time too and need to have somewhere to let off steam and be healthily outside.”
J Lamont also objected, saying “I cannot understand why we need another food shop. We have so many and a massive Tesco 10 minutes away.
“A new doctor’s surgery would be beneficial in the town centre. Ivybridge is expanding with all the new housing being built and the centre of Ivybridge would be an ideal location.
“I always thought the council’s way forward to improve the village would be to support local businesses, encourage sustainability, buy local products to increase our local economy. A new butchers selling locally produced meat and a fruit and veg shop with the same ethos would be beneficial.”
While all of the current letters on the planning portal for the application are either negative or neutral, a “positive” specific post on the local Ivybridge social media page collected more than 160 comments, with many people pointing out that while the plans aren’t perfect, many of those objecting to the project “have the finances and stability to travel to supermarkets or pay the extortionate prices in the local shops without hesitation”.
One comment continued: “Younger families, myself included, sometimes struggle. A place like Aldi would cut my shopping bill in half. No one is asking you to stop shopping locally, but at least be diverse enough to recognise that poverty does happen here and that people might need options, especially ones that are closer to home.”
You can view, comment, object or support the application for yourself by clicking HERE, or visit the South Hams District Council planning portal and searching for application number 1059/22/FUL.
(If you find planning applications confusing, which they often are, try and look for the Design and Access Statement as this gives a general overview of the project)
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* The information contained on this page is correct to the best of our knowledge, if you notice anything that you know to be incorrect or misleading, please contact us.