Longbridge residents object to bargain store
PROPOSALS for a discount supermarket have been approved in favour of a cinema and gym development despite dozens of objections.
Birmingham City Council’s planning committee permitted St Modwen’s application for the shop at Longbridge town centre.
Plans had previously been passed for a cinema and gym at the site next to Smyths Toys but the firm stated it has struggled to find operators willing to run them.
St Modwen has not confirmed which retailer will be taking on the new store, which will create 40 jobs, but they have compared it to Lidl and Aldi.
They also said the Aldi in Northfield stood to lose the most trade from the new arrival as opposed to Morrisons and Sainsbury’s which are geographically closer.
Cllr Karen McCarthy, on the committee, echoed residents’ underwhelming reaction to the latest plans.
She said: “It does concern me that the leisure facilities are now not going to be a part of this development. Now its going to be further retail. I accept the market is difficult (for a cinema and gym) but as we have seen over recent weeks the retail market is not as stable as it might have been.”
Cllr Peter Griffiths also questioned the amount of retail on the former Rover works, which is already home to Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury’s.
More than 30 people had objected with the main concern being that another supermarket was not needed.
Instead residents called for alternative big-name brands such as Primark, IKEA and The Range.