Alternative store proposals go on show

By Emily Pearce

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

 

A PUBLIC exhibition, showcasing alternative proposals for a new Asda store and the relocation of Newport Football Club, will be held in Newport on Saturday (January 26), giving people a chance to comment on the plans.

Asda has already lodged plans for a store off St George's Way, Newport, but the owner of the football club's ground, South Coast Leisure (SCL), is due to submit a rival planning application later this month.

The company hopes to entice Asda to buy St George's Park, enabling it to build a bigger store with more parking, and would use £1 million from the deal to relocate the football club to Isle of Wight Council-owned land next to the current site.

SCL believes its plans are superior because they would provide Asda with two acres of extra space and allow for better transport links to the store, as well as provide Newport FC with improved facilities and secure the club's long-term future.

But the supermarket giant has accused the company of trying to foil its plans.

An Asda spokesman previously told the CP: "We are convinced the site we have found is the right site, of the right size, in the right place and residents on the Isle of Wight have backed this site wholeheartedly. We have previously considered many other options, including the football club site but these have all been discounted for one reason or another.

"To try to foil our plans at the last minute is rather opportunistic of SCL."

People are being invited to have their say on the plans at Saturday's exhibition, which will be held at Newport Minster from 10am to 4pm.

They will also be able to comment online from tomorrow (Wednesday) at www.sclnewport.com

SCL spokesman Steve Carey said: "This is a major opportunity to provide a superior location for the new Asda store and a permanent solution to Newport Football Club’s search for an affordable home.

"SCL and Newport FC are keen as many people as possible can contribute with their comments on the draft proposals, either at the exhibition or online, before an application is submitted."

SCL, which bought Newport Football from administrators in 2004 and has since ploughed more than £600,000 into the club, said the council had previously supported the idea of relocating the football pitch and developing the land it owns for retail and leisure use.

Reporter: emilyp@iwcpmail.co.uk

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