Residents split over Sainsbury's bid for Ludlow superstore
Residents of Ludlow are split on whether an out-of-town Sainsbury's superstore will be good for the town.
Ludlow North county councillor Andy Boddington held his own opinion poll asking people through his blog whether they would welcome a Sainsbury's store.
The company has planning permission for a store on land at Rocks Green, at the junction of the A49 but that is subject to reserved matters, such as appearance and landscaping.
Shropshire Council is currently accepting comments on the details behind the 18,000sq ft building. These are expected to go to the southern planning committee on September 22.
Councillor Boddington said: "I launched a straw poll on whether Sainsbury’s will be welcome in Ludlow. The poll was busy, with 813 votes being cast.
"The winning result was 480 votes in favour - 59 per cent. A sizeable group thought a Sainsbury’s at Rocks Green would be bad for the town – 296 votes, 36 per cent. A small number aren’t bothered whether Sainsbury’s comes to town or not – 37 votes, five per cent.
"Although this was an informal poll, it reflects what I hear around the town and read on social media. A majority of people are in favour of Sainsbury’s coming to Ludlow. But there remains strong opposition."
Councillor Boddington has made it clear that he will not be voting on the application.
The company says the site will create up to 150 jobs and would include an Argos inside the building.
Sainsbury’s property director Patrick Dunne said: “We’re excited about the plans for our new store, which will provide a significant investment in Ludlow, supporting economic growth locally and providing a convenient shopping location for residents.
"With the nearest Sainsbury’s over 16 miles away and Argos store 19 miles, I know this new store is welcome news for many across the community. We look forward to opening the doors to customers by winter 2021.”
Sainsbury’s head of stores for the central zone, Tom Balay said: “We’re really looking forward to serving the Ludlow community. This new store is a win for residents and ensures Ludlow has the services it needs for the future.”
The store will be built on land at the junction of the A49 and Rocks Green and will have 169 parking spaces, according to Sainsbury's.
Councillor Boddington said that he hoped the scheme would be designed to blend into its countryside surroundings.
He said: "The Rocks Green roundabout on the A49 is currently a green and leafy gateway into Ludlow. More work needs to be done to soften the impact of the scheme.
“Those discussions will take place over the next few weeks.”