PLANS to replace a car showroom in Pennington with a new convenience store and takeaway are being opposed over fears they could drive out local shops.
The proposal for Hills of Lymington, at 44 Milford Road, was described as unnecessary and a “very poor design” by Lymington and Pennington Town Council, which called for housing there instead.
The application from Tim Lincoln, of Brightbeech Investments, is being considered by New Forest District Council, with a decision scheduled by 9th March.
The town council’s submission said: “This proposal for the retail space will compete with the existing Fox Pond outlets and therefore does not meet the Local Plan policy of being complimentary.
“More retail units are not required and the land should be used for residential development.”
Councillors also warned vehicles leaving the site onto the busy A337 will be a “safety hazard” which would only get worse if the Fox Pond Dairy Depot site next door was developed with homes later.
There have been 18 objections, including one from leading local businessman Neil Welker, director of Elliotts of Lymington in the High Street.
He said: “Lymington High Street is currently suffering with some empty retail units and is also facing the threat of introducing on-street car parking charges by Hampshire County Council.
“With retail units available in the High Street, and the existing takeaways and convenience stores in close vicinity to the proposed development, there is simply not the need for more retail development.”
He warned: “Granting permission for this retail development in the current environment would set a dangerous precedent for out-of-town retail development and could potentially damage the vitality and viability of Lymington High Street in the medium and long-term.”
The proposal would reuse the current building and include 17 parking spaces, with daily trading hours of 6am-11pm.
The application claimed up to 40 full and part-time jobs would be created, and that it was not big enough to generate significant extra traffic.
It said: “A new store will help to retain expenditure within the local area, to the benefit of the community.
“The development presents the opportunity to provide local people with quality, fresh food within walking distance of their homes and for those needing to top up their shopping.”
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