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Trader speaks out after planning committee rejected her convenience store plan for Partington
A TRADER has hit out at planning bosses who refused to allow her to open a convenience store in Partington – even though the scheme had widespread community support.
Messenger reported a fortnight ago that planning permission was refused for Mary Davey’s application to open a store on the site of the former Greyhound pub, because of fears it could jeopardise the regeneration of the town.
More than 1,000 people signed a petition backing Ms Davey’s convenience store plan and the planning department received more than 180 letters of support.
Property giant Peel Holdings objected, though, claiming the store would scupper its long awaited redevelopment of Partington’s shopping centre.
But Ms Davey told Messenger this week that the planning committee should have taken the views of the community into account – and claimed they had favoured the ‘big boys’ over a small trader.
Ms Davey – a pharmacist who has been running Davey’s Chemist on Warburton Lane, Partington for 15 years - said: “I believe that in favouring the “big boys” over a local business, the councillors have ignored the opinions of a significant number of the Partington residents they were elected to represent.”
The committee gave the convenience store the thumbs down after Peel said the anchor store that it is negotiating to sign up for the development of Partington’s shopping centre would refuse to come if a competing store opened in the town.
It was claimed this would have a knock-on effect of deterring shops from coming to the other units, and also hit major residential schemes earmarked for the town.
Members of the planning committee said they had to look at the ‘big picture’ of regenerating Partington.
Planning committee vice chairman, Cllr Dan Bunting, told the meeting: “The regeneration of Partington is our absolute priority.
“This could derail that which we have all worked so hard for, for such a long time.”
They rejected Ms Davey’s view that her store would be complementary to the shopping centre and not be in competition with it.
But Ms Davey told Messenger that her scheme was not a factor in delays in Peel carrying out a revamp of the town’s shopping centre.
She pointed out her store – earmarked for the junction of Manchester Road and Manchester New Road - would have provided up to 40 jobs and been built within seven months.
She said: “We can commence regeneration now and provide the residents with the basic facilities that they have needed for so long. This can act as a catalyst for development to follow.”