Memorial Ground Sainsbury's plan will hit local trade - campaigners claim
CAMPAIGNERS are claiming that plans to build a new Sainsbury's supermarket at the Memorial Ground in Horfield will badly hit trade on the nearby Gloucester Road.
The Green Party has come out against the proposed development claiming local, independent shops will be badly affected.
According to the campaigners a survey commissioned by the council found that if the development goes ahead Gloucester Road shops will lose up to 19 per cent of turnover by 2017, resulting in many local business closures.
Although the report states that most of the losses will be taken by the convenience sector, it also highlights the knock-on effect across all shops on Gloucester Road and the surrounding area.
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Green Party councillor Gus Hoyt, who is also cabinet member for food, neighbourhoods and communities, said: "We must protect our valuable local shops if we are to thrive and survive as a city.
"Gloucester Road is one of the prime examples of a diverse high-street that is the life-blood of our independent traders. It is also one of the last streets in Bristol where there is a choice of grocers - a mega Sainsbury close by could destroy this precious resource, making local food even harder to come by."
Daniella Radice, Green Party candidate for Bishopston, said: "Rejecting the Sainsbury's application is about supporting our local livelihood and culture.
"Thousands flock to Gloucester Road every day of every year because it is unique - a jewel in Bristol's crown. We can't let one of Britain's last remaining high streets get shut down."
Greens have claimed that information provided by Sainsbury's during the initial consultation process was deceptive.
Sainsbury's initially gave the impression that the new store was comparable to their Winterstoke Road shop. In reality the retail floorspace will be larger than Eastville Tesco.
Bristol City Council is obliged by new planning legislation introduced by the coalition, to consider any damage new supermarkets will make to local high streets.
As Bristol City Council's report clearly states, the damage caused by the new Sainsbury's will be considerable. Campaigners and Green Party members have stated their intention to highlight this inconsistency and demand that the city council take serious note of the findings of the report.
A key committee meeting will take place next Wednesday at City Hall at which Daniella Radice will submit a statement as part of the action group opposing the scheme.