Face to face meeting sought with Co-op in Petworth

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Petworth town councillors are hoping to sit down with Co-op bosses in a bid to understand the supermarket’s plans for the future.

Chairman of the town council’s planning committee Rob Evans said he believed it was important to understand what plans the supermarket had for the 3000 square metres premises it had been renting for nearly three years which remained empty.

It was also important to hear the Co-op’s plans for its premises opposite Swan House.

“We would like to know their plans and how they link with our Neighbourhood Plan. We want to understand their long term aims for the town.”

In June town council chairman Chris Kemp accused the Co-op of ‘shop blocking’ after its plans to move to Swan House appeared to have stalled.

“We are talking about at least 3000 square metres of retail space sitting empty for three years, there is next to no other retail space in the town and they are basically shop blocking,” he said.

Planning permission was refused in April 2014 on the grounds it would be detrimental to the listed building. Despite promises a revised application was imminent, it had not yet been submitted.

But shortly afterwards three separate plans were submitted for signage and minor alternations as well as plans for external floor surfacing.

All three have now been examined by town councillors who have raised concerns.

”We are persevering with trying to get them to come to the town as we believe it is as much in their interests as it is in ours for us to talk to each other,” said Mr Evans.

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