Supermarket work starts despite fears over traffic
Chance of 20 jobs, but development has divided opinion
Construction of a new food shop to serve a busy Ashford housing estate has begun.
Contractors moved on to the construction site alongside The New Chimneys pub and restaurant in Loudon Way, Godinton , to prepare the land for building this week.
Marrons Planning was granted planning permission for the 3,000sq ft shop between the pub and Godinton village hall earlier this year.
The building site for what is understood to be a Co-op supermarket, similar in size to the one in Brookfield Road, South Ashford, has now been surrounded by a protective metal fence.
The plan has been controversial, with some residents disputing the need for a new supermarket so near to the existing Godinton Stores.
There have also been complaints about the loss of 33 car parking spaces in the large car park, which are used by parents with children attending nearby Godinton Park primary school.
When the plans were submitted to Ashford Borough Council there were 25 objectors to the proposals, while Godinton Stores gathered 200 signatures in protest.
Marrons Planning says the new shop would provide up to 20 jobs, 10 of which would be full-time.
The car park, which is privately owned, is used by customers and visitors to the pub, the nearby shops, Godinton village hall and Godinton Primary School.
Concerns over the scheme stemmed from extra traffic and lost car parking spaces.
There are also fears it will steal trade from the mini supermarket nearby but Costas Constanti, landlord of The New Chimneys, supports the development.
He has previously said: “I own the lease to the car park, but it is not me developing it, the land- lord is. I’m all for it. It will tidy the place up and create jobs.
“It will also stop the people who use the car park at night – who race in it.”
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Work begins on the construction of a supermarket alongside The Three Chimneys pub