Su­per­mar­ket work starts de­spite fears over traf­fic

Chance of 20 jobs, but de­vel­op­ment has di­vided opin­ion

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - New Starts -

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.”

What do you think? Write to Ken­tish Ex­press, 34-36 North Street, Ash­ford, TN24 8JR or email ken­tish­ex­press@thek­m­group.co.uk

Work be­gins on the con­struc­tion of a su­per­mar­ket along­side The Three Chim­neys pub

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