CHERRY Tree newsagent Stephen Worsley has expressed disappointment after councillors finally approved a new Sainsbury’s ‘Local’ convenience store just 300 metres from his shop.
He has vowed to fight to keep his customers satisfied and patronising his premises despite the Blackburn with Darwen planning committee ignoring his last ditch plea to turn the scheme down.
Last month the all-party group deferred the decision to make a second visit to the site in Cherry Tree because of concerns about parking and the effect on Mr Worsley’s shop further down Preston Old Road.
On Thursday they gave it the go-ahead having been satisfied there was adequate parking.
Now the committee have granted Holts of Cherry Tree Carpet and Flooring Centre in Preston Old Road permission to split the existing ground floor premises in two to allow Sainsbury’s to open a convenience store.
They also want to turn the upstairs offices into a gym and pilates room. The scheme is expected to create 24 jobs.
Mr Worsley told the meeting that he remained concerned at the potential for parking, traffic and anti-social behaviour problems if the application was approved and cast doubt on the number of jobs.
He said: “A posh new facia and a brightly lit store does not a local community shop make.”
Afterwards Mr Worsley, who has build up his shop over 19 years, said: “I am disappointed obviously.
“I have a very strong customer base and will be doing all I can to ensure they continue to use my shop and not the new Sainsbury’s.
“I intend to be a bigger thorn in the side of Sainsbury’s than they are to my business.”
Tory planning spokesman Alan Cottam said after the visit he could see no grounds for refusing the application on traffic or parking grounds.
Fellow Livesey with Pleasington ward councillor Derek Hardman said he was still uneasy with the siting of the new convenience store.
Louise Gill, of Holts’ agents Sunderland Peacock and Associates, had no comment to make on the decision.
A Sainsbury's spokesman said: "We are pleased. We look forward to being part of the community."