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110908 | Co-op issues warning over out-of-town plan for Hayle | This is Cornwall

As seen in The Cornishman Thu, 9th September 2011

Co-op issues warning over out-of-town plan for Hayle

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Western Morning News

A town centre supermarket in Cornwall has intervened in the three-way battle between superstores vying to set up shop on its doorstep.

The Co-operative Group, which owns a small supermarket in Hayle, has written to Cornwall Council warning that out-of-town stores will ruin the vitality of the area.

Later this month, Cornwall Council will decide on bids by three supermarkets – Asda, Sainsbury's and Morrison's.

Helen Garry, planning manager for The Co-operative in Hayle, said any development must not detract from trade in the town's two main retail areas at Copperhouse in the east and Foundry in the west.

"While we support potential investment in Hayle, we are acutely aware that this must not be at the cost of introducing inappropriate development into the area.

"Currently The Co-operative occupies an important position within Hayle town centre, and its presence helps to support other traders in the Copperhouse vicinity.

"If one or more of these proposals get the green light, we would inevitably see a negative impact on our store, and subsequently a detrimental effect on the town centre and its other retailers, as fewer people would travel into Hayle town centre to shop.

"Any investment in a new food offering in the town must be in a location, and on a scale, that would promote the joint success of Hayle's main two retail areas, Copperhouse and Foundry, and not draw trade away."

Ms Garry said the Co-operative had formally objected to all three schemes on the table. A fourth application was refused by the council in February.

The organisation has written letters to council bosses expressing fears trade could be drawn away from thew central areas, resulting in a "ghost town" effect in the heart of the town which currently performs well.

A specific concern outlined by The Co-operative relates to the scale of the proposed developments. Its property team, in the letters to the council, say the town will only benefit from additional food stores if they are appropriate in scale and promote trips to other local stores thereby helping local traders.

The battle of the supermarkets for Hayle was ratcheted up last month when Hayle Rugby Football Club pledged £1 million to local community projects if an out-of-town supermarket plan is given the green light next month.

The club, which is hoping to relocate to Carwin Rise to make way for an Asda store at Memorial Park, said the cash would be released on the successful completion of both planning applications.

The money will come from the funds the club would have remaining from the proposed sale of Memorial Park, purchase of new land and construction of a new club house.

Supermarket giant Asda is going head-to-head with Morrisons' plans to build a food store at Carnsew Quay and Hayle harbour owner ING's plans for a mixed use development on South Quay which could feature a branch of Sainsbury's.