To shop or not to shop?

Costa Blanca News (North Edition) - - NEWS -

PLANS for a pos­si­ble shop­ping cen­tre next to the new hospi­tal build­ing in Gan­dia (La Safor, Va­len­cia) have been met with up­roar from op­po­si­tion mem­bers of the coun­cil, who say it would be 'dis­as­trous' for lo­cal traders and the ex­ist­ing re­tail parks.

Busi­ness slumped at the Plaza Mayor shop­ping com­plex op­po­site Car­refour when La Vi­tal opened just me­tres away from it in early 2006, and a third cen­tre could make the ef­fects even worse.

And lo­cal traders on the high street, both chain stores and in­de­pen­dent shops and bou­tiques would also suf­fer, says coun­cil group Com­pro­mís.

The PP lo­cal govern­ment has al­ways pledged not to build any more shop­ping parks in Gan­dia so as not to take trade away from stand-alone re­tail­ers, and Com­pro­mís says mayor Ar­turo Torró would be 'be­tray­ing' them by go­ing back on his word.

But town plan­ning coun­cil­lor Toni Abad says noth­ing is set in stone as yet.

Lo­cal au­thor­i­ties want to change the 'clas­si­fi­ca­tion' of the land the hospi­tal is be­ing built on from 'in­dus­trial' to 'commercial', in or­der to re­duce costs and get the much-needed health trust open as soon as pos­si­ble.

If it were changed to ' commercial', it would open the door for shops and re­tail cen­tres to be con­structed there.

Abad says the coun­cil is 'weigh­ing up all the op­tions', since the eco­nomic cli­mate and the value of land and property nowa­days is 'very dif­fer­ent'.

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