Plans for new Spar shop in Preston attract more than 60 objections

A controversial new Spar shop looks likely to get the thumbs up by councillors in Preston even though more than 60 local residents have raised objections.

An application by James Hall and Co to build the new convenience store in Watling Street Road has been recommended for approval when it is debated by the city's planning committee on Thursday.

The shop is earmarked for the site of a former car dealership, next door to Fulwood' s former police station. The plot has been empty for some time and the plan is to demolish the single-storey buildings and build a two-storey store in their place.

The application has been referred to the full planning committee after it was called in by Coun Peter Kelly over concerns it did not comply with the area's core strategy.

How the site used to look, next door to the former Fulwood Police Station.

But planning officers have examined the case and will tell the committee on Thursday that it does meet the criteria.

James Hall says the store will employ up to 30 people, half of them full-time. The company has requested opening hours of 6am to 11pm seven days a week, but council officers are recommending the shop should open from 6:30am to 10pm Monday to Friuday, 7am to 10pm on Saturdays and 8am to 10pm on Sundays and Bank Holidays.

In total 61 letters of objection have been received by the council, with two in favour.

The concerns range from there being a proliferation of convenience stores locally, increased traffic, the store being overly large with insufficient parking spaces (15), the risk of it overlooking neighbouring properties, the fear of excessive noise, anti-social behaviour and its impact on other local businesses.

But officers who have examined all the issues say in a report to the committee that "public representations have been taken into consideration as part of the assessment of the proposed development.

"The proposed development would not result in any unacceptable impacts upon traffic and highway safety, visual amenity, residential amenity and community safety and any potential impact upon flood risk, ecology, air quality or waste management can be mitigated by condition.

"The proposed works would cause no harm to the significance of the Fulwood Conservation Area. Furthermore, the proposed works would have positive benefits bringing an unattractive vacant site back into a viable use."