PROPOSALS to build a supermarket in Shipston have finally been given the green light – but the community remains divided.
In 2013 Stratford District Council rejected plans to build a 1,800 square metre shop and petrol station on Campden Road, along with a retirement development of up to 80 cottages, 54 homes and community land – saying it would impact the viability of the town centre.
But Planning Inspector John Ware gave plans the go-ahead on Monday (February 23) after an appeal by Ainscough Strategic Land.
He said it would improve choice for shoppers and would create 175 full-time jobs.
Town Mayor Philip Vial said: “Although this was not the outcome town council sought, I am personally delighted the process is now at an end and we can move forward together from here, continuing to make Shipston a vibrant community.”
Not everyone in the town felt the same, with Labour councillor Jeff Kenner saying he was ‘delighted’ with the outcome.
The councillor headed campaign group ‘Shipston Needs a Supermarket’ following the original rejection of the plans.
He told the Observer: “Approximately 70 homes will be affordable social homes to meet local need.
“With the housing waiting list growing by 20 per cent last year I am very pleased that this affordable housing will be generated, including the extra-care housing to meet the needs of an ageing local population. I am also delighted at this much needed jobs boost.
“The housing and jobs will generate extra trade for the town centre and is excellent news all-round for Shipston.
“I have written to the council chief executive asking him to undertake an urgent inquiry into the actions of the council that have contributed to a wholly unnecessary and wasteful two-year process of appeal at a cost of over £135,000 to the council taxpayer.”