By-pass has led to pessimism

Road To Nowhere: Residents believe that the new road system introduced to accommodate the Sainsbury's site development has led to tourists being taken away from Matlock town centre.

Road To Nowhere: Residents believe that the new road system introduced to accommodate the Sainsbury's site development has led to tourists being taken away from Matlock town centre.

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Sainsbury’s development has had a negative impact on Matlock – claim the town’s traders.

The assessment of independent retailers reveals that they believe the supermarket development and the associated by-pass and one-way system has taken trade out of the town centre.

Out of the 45 traders surveyed most said Sainsbury’s was a significant factor behind their pessimism.

Eighty-two per cent said they did not think the town would benefit from an expanded supermarket – with 40 per cent saying it would have a negative impact on them and only four per cent saying it would be positive.

The Cawdor Way store, opened in 2007, was granted permission to expand in June with a new detailed plans set to be discussed by district councillors on Tuesday.

Planning officers have recommend approval for the latest application – which could see the supermarket extended and a single storey car park created.

However, the shopping survey, which was carried out last November and December, shows many traders do not consider the store to be part of the town centre and while they are happy with existing or any potential future supermarkets in the old part of the town, they were hostile to the arrival and expansion of Sainsbury’s.

Consultants state: “A further issue highlighted by the survey is the effect that the town’s by-pass has had.

“Many business owners believe that preventing people from driving in to the centre of town from the south has had the effect of driving down footfall in the town centre, particularly on the north side of the river.”

The reports adds: “Opportunities to more effectively integrate Sainsbury’s development with the centre of the town should be pursued. It is essential that this link is perceived by town centre shoppers.”

The new planning application for the scale, appearance and landscaping of Sainsbury’s extension will be discussed by district councillors on Tuesday, October 4 at 6pm in the Town Hall.

n Let us know what you think about the results – do you agree with the traders?

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