Concerns grow that proposed M&S store will take shoppers out of Ludlow town centre

Plans for an M&S Food Hall on the outskirts of Ludlow will damage the town centre, a local councillor says.

An artist's impression of the proposed new M&S
An artist's impression of the proposed new M&S

Avenbury Properties Ltd has submitted an application for a building off the A49. The 2016.8sqm retail unit, with a net trading area of 1,398sqm, would have an access road from Sheet Road, an 180-space car park, eight electric vehicle charging bays, cycle rack service yard, and landscaping.

The developers say the store will create 70 full and part time jobs and will claw back shoppers who travel outside Ludlow to shop at M&S.

Residents have until the end of the month to comment on the request for planning permission.

Shropshire councillor Andy Boddington said much as he would like an M&S Food locally, another out of town store would further damage the town centre, which has seen several shop closures lately.

"Ludlow is in danger of becoming a town where out of town shopping dominates," he said.

"There will be little incentive for shoppers to come into town. That will reduce footfall at a time when we already have several empty premises empty.

"Ludlow is a unique town with many independent traders. But these depend on footfall from within the town and further afield.

The Ludlow councillor also wants an updated impact statement. He said the last assessment of the impact of out of town shopping on the town centre is dated 2021 and "out of date in many respects".

"Footfall in town centres has dropped and more shopping has moved online, including for food," he said.

"The store will be two-thirds the size of Sainsbury’s, a little smaller than Tesco, and bigger than Aldi and the former Budgens. "

Councillor Boddington is also concerned about its proposed appearance.

The application states the “building appearance to be of high quality set within a well landscaped environment”.

"However, the building is a white box with no architectural merits whatsoever. It lacks adequate screening with trees. There are 3 metre high signs on three sides of the building, along with a larger illuminated sign and a totem facing the A49.

"The store will be clearly visible from Caynham Camp and other locations. There must be a radical redesign of this development to make it more sensitive to the location and landscape before it is considered for approval. It must also improve its ecological credentials. This scheme contributes nothing towards biodiversity."

Most Read

Most Read

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News