New Co-op planned for Bere Alston

PROPOSALS have been submitted for a brand new Co-op store on the outskirts of Bere Alston which pledges to create 22 new full and part-time jobs.

Planning permission is being sought from West Devon Borough Council for the store three times the size of the existing one on Fore Street in the village centre.

Westcountry Land (Kenwyn) Ltd, is proposing to build larger store beside the B3257 road into the village, with parking for 20 cars. The greenfield site is next to a house called Highfield.

The proposal aims to encourage more people to shop locally rather than travel to the supermarkets in Tavistock.

The Bere Ferrers Neighbourhood Plan had shown that currently only 10 per cent of people living in the village did their main shop there.

‘The Co-op have been operating from their existing store within the centre of Bere Alston since 1945,’ said the statement from Business Location Services Ltd.

‘Given the size and location of the existing store within its limited size and lack of car parking and access for delivery vehicles the Co-op have outgrown the store and would like to provide a new retail offer to residents and visitors to Bere Alston and the surrounding area.

‘The existing Co-op store comprises a net sales area of some 78 sqm and is significantly undersized for a Co-op store offer.

‘The aisles within the existing store are cramped and the layout is poor with an inadequate service area making the store a poor shopping experience and fails to meet customer needs and expectations.

‘The existing store also presents a challenging working environment and conditions for the employees.’

It went on: ‘Given that only 10% of residents do their main shop within Bere Alston, based on the community questionnaire results from the Bere Alston Neighbourhood Plan, and the fact that the nearest retail store is at Tavistock some seven miles distant, there is an identified need to provide enhanced retail facilities in the village which would provide greater retail choice and reduce the need to travel.

‘The proposed store would provide residents and visitors alike with a retail facility that would reduce the need to travel to shop to nearby Tavistock.

‘The proposed development will benefit the environment through the reduction in the need to travel with the need for less car journeys to other retail centres.’

‘The proposed convenience store will also have social benefits for the local community as there will be options for local residents to walk or cycle to access the store. The proposed retail store will provide economic benefits through the creation of additional employment.’ Full details of the application can be found in the planning section of the WDBC website, app no 2215/22/FUL. Comments are invited by November 3.