SUPERMARKET chain Asda claims it has residents’ support for a controversial new store in Sheffield - as councillors prepare to decide whether it can be built.
The new development on the site of Home Décor Innovations off Beighton Road East, Drakehouse, has sparked the anger of traders at nearby Crystal Peaks shopping centre.
But Asda says proposals for the 45,000 sq ft store have been greeted with enthusiasm by shoppers.
Sheffield Council planners have also backed the scheme - recommending planning permission be granted when councillors meet on Monday.
Asda’s senior property communications manager, Philip Bartram, said: “We are extremely pleased our application has been recommended for approval by Sheffield Council.
“It is very evident from the comprehensive feedback gained to date that local shoppers want more choice and competition, which is always a good thing for consumers.
“Up to 400 new jobs for local people are also clearly seen as hugely beneficial to the area, delivering a major financial boost to south-east Sheffield for many years to come.
“The store will give shoppers access to Asda’s low prices and outstanding customer service and will also feature a petrol station providing low priced fuel for customers.
“The development will have additional positive impacts for the economy and includes the relocation of local manufacturing firm Home Décor. It will relocate to better premises and the investment from Asda will help its manufacturing business grow.”
One 53-year-old Beighton resident, who didn’t want to be named, told The Star he would be pleased if the large supermarket opened nearby.
“We have to travel to Handsworth so I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “I think it will bring more people in. I like the shop, the quality’s good and the price is right.”
The company says more than 95 per cent of visitors to a public exhibition this year voiced support for the proposal. But, as The Star reported on Friday, traders at Crystal Peaks are worried about the scheme, concerned it will drag trade from the centre.
Hermes, owners of Crystal Peaks, says the development would hit the centre’s business by up to 21 per cent.
Around 170 residents have written to Sheffield Council expressing support for the scheme, while 54 have written letters of objection.
Council officers admit Asda will affect Crystal Peaks - especially the centre’s flagship Sainsbury’s - but say it should be approved ‘on balance’.