Controversial Co-op set to open in Sway

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co-op sway
The Co-op under construction last year in Sway (picture: Anne Dew)

A CONTROVERSIAL new Co-op will open in Sway next week, creating 14 local jobs.

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The store is part of a development which includes eight new homes on the old Hatch Motors site in Station Road.

The plans proved unpopular with many residents when they were announced but was narrowly approved by the New Forest National Park Authority in 2019 – a decision which prompted jeers from the public gallery.

Those who spoke against the plans complained about a lack of parking, increased traffic and an “unsympathetic” design.

However, developer Landmark Estates said the scheme would “create starter and family homes, jobs for local people and provide a modern, local grocery shop”.

Manager Ant Palmese said he was looking forward to launching Co-op’s newest store, which opens on Friday 22nd January.

“We are very excited about the opportunity to serve the local community, and playing our part in local life,” he said.

“We have worked to develop the range, choice, products and services locally that will create a really compelling offer in the community.

“Co-op is committed to connecting communities and making a difference locally and so I also want customers to know that they can become a member of the Co-op.”

He added: “In addition to additional value and offers, our members also make a difference to local causes, with Co-op now donating 2% to community causes every time a member swipes their card when buying own-branded products.”

The 2,000 sq ft store will be open 6am-10pm daily and run on 100% renewable electricity. The branch will serve hot food and host a bakery, free ATM and Costa coffee express.

Students who are Totum cardholders can also pocket a 10% discount at the store.

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