Business chiefs have hit out at plans to develop a vacant site into a £15 million shopping complex which they say would be “the end” of Worksop town centre.
Worksop Business Forum say the Carlton Road development would take trade and footfall away from the town centre, which is “already struggling” after major shop closures this past year.
The site, previously earmarked for a Tesco superstore, would house a B&M Bargains, Lidl and drive-thru restaurant, along with space for several other retailers.
Philip Jackson, forum chairman, said: “I believe that if this type of development is allowed, it would be the end of Worksop town centre as more shops would become empty.”
Councillor Simon Greaves, Bassetlaw District Council leader, has also slammed plans for a shopping complex, as he believes the five-acre suit would “lend itself better” to housing and “lots of green space” for residents to enjoy.
But Opus North, the developer behind the proposals, claimst “two thirds” of Worksop residents they consulted are backing the project.
Andrew Duncan, managing director, said that many residents praised plans to “bring in jobs and investment” .
He said: “We have been very encouraged by the active role residents have taken in the consultation.
“The increase in shopping choice was welcomed by many.”
Mr Duncan said requests from residents such as “secure fencing” and “increased landscaping” had been incorporated into the final plans, which would soon be submitted as a planning application.
Your Guardian has received mixed responses from residents on its Facebook page.
Mark Roberts posted: “Anybody who wants to invest in Worksop should be welcomed with open arms irrespective of the short-term impact.
“Developments like this do not kill the town centre – high rents, rates and the parking problems do.”
Simon Houghton called for an “end to negativity” and Chris Bestwick said: “Please encourage any investment and business into Worksop.”
But John Hardcastle said: “Why build more commercial premises in a town with an abundance of unoccupied commercial property?
“Even more illogical given the poor location – proximity to the level crossing that creates massive traffic tailbacks for one.”