SAFETY fears have been raised about plans to build a Sainsbury’s shop at the heart of a housing estate next to a playground.
The supermarket giant has formally submitted proposals to the district council to develop a 4,000 square foot ‘Local’ store on the corner of Swinyard Road and Buttercup Walk at Malvern Vale.
The store will bring about 25 jobs to the area, but residents have issued concerns because it will sell alcohol as well as the fact it will be open seven days a week between 7am and 11pm.
A total of 13 car park spaces are included in the plans sparking further complaints about the possibility of additional traffic, although county highways officers have given the thumbs-up to the plans.
Andrea Goddard of Buttercup Walk, said: “I don’t think having a shop like this on top of a park is a good idea.
“There are a lot of children on this estate. We don’t have kids but if we did I wouldn’t want them playing next to a shop open until 11 at night selling alcohol. It will mean a lot of people loitering around at night and it will ruin the feel of the estate completely.
“It is just not something which is a good idea on an estate like this.”
She also labelled the proposed access to the site as crazy and claimed some parents she had spoken to were dreading having a shop on the plot of land.
Another neighbour from Buttercup Walk who did not wish to be named, said the store was simply not needed because Londis and Co-op shops were nearby.
“You can’t put a shop in the middle of a development because of the traffic it is going to cause,” she said. “There are a lot of children on bikes around here. It’s such a nice area for the kids and I wouldn’t want to see it spoilt.”
Bob Tilley, chairman of planning at Malvern Civic Society, has called for the plans to be refused unless the proposed car park and delivery access are moved to the opposite side of the shop.
A crime prevention officer has also declared users of the cash machine would be ‘vulnerable’ because it is next to an alleyway.
In response to the concerns a Sainsbury’s spokeswoman said: “Sainsbury’s is committed to being a good neighbour and we are listening to what local representatives and residents have to say about the proposal to ensure the store is a welcome addition to the area.
“We, along with the planning applicant, will be looking to address and resolve any concerns appropriately.
“We believe our proposal will add to existing community facilities and make a positive contribution to the Malvern Vale community bringing around 25 full and part time jobs to the area.”
The firm has also vowed to support a local charity once the store is up and running, which could be by summer next year if the council approves it.