New M&S Food store on the drawing board for Ludlow

Plans are being drawn up to bring a large Marks & Spencer Food store to the outskirts of Ludlow.

How the M&S Food Hall would look. Picture: Corstorphine and Wright.
How the M&S Food Hall would look. Picture: Corstorphine and Wright.

A consultation exercise is set to be carried within the next few days in advance of a planning application being lodged with Shropshire Council.

Ludlow councillor Andy Boddington says there are "major issues" for the town to consider. He is a member of the council's planning committee that will be called on to make the decision.

"Lots of us love shopping at M&S, me included," said Councillor Boddington. "But a new high market store will inevitably reduce footfall in the town centre."

Councillor Boddington added: "Our independent traders in the town centre mostly came through the pandemic well.

Plan for the site. Picture: Corstorphine and Wright.

"But the effect of the current financial pressures on personal finances are reducing spending power and we are seeing more store closures than we have seen before."

The plans are for the M&S Foodhall to be opposite the Eco Park on a site along Sheet Road, east of the A49 and a 20-minute walk from the town centre. It could bring 70 jobs to the town.

Councillor Boddington added: "There will be a lot of issues to consider here. Another out-of-town store in a town that has thrived on its distinctive, largely independent retail offer in the historic town centre. The site ticks the boxes for road and bus access.

"There are suggestions from what we know so far that the designers have looked at the landscape screening aspects, as it will be visible for miles to the south, east and north east.

"In 2019, we heard whispers that was planning to build a food store here. But that scheme for the site never saw the light of day. It is now Sainsbury’s."

Site location. Picture: Corstorphine and Wright.

"I am not taking a view on this proposal," he added. "We don’t have the application yet. But there is a lot for us to think about."

An M&S spokesperson said: “We’re consulting on plans to bring a brand new M&S Foodhall to Ludlow, offering local customers a wide range of great quality, trusted value M&S Food products and we’re looking forward to hearing views from the community.”

A spokesperson for the site developer, Avenbury, said: “We’re really pleased to be working with M&S to bring forward plans to develop this site off the A49 in Ludlow and open a brand new M&S Foodhall. We’re keen to hear from the local community about these plans and will be holding a public consultation at 12.30pm to 5pm on Thursday 1 December and 10.30am to 5pm Friday 2 December at The Ludlow Assembly Rooms, Mill Street, Ludlow. If anyone would like to know more about the plans, you can also visit our website at https://www.foodhallconsultationludlow.co.uk/."

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