Plans to maintain High Street trade

IMPROVEMENTS will be made to draw more shopppers to Portishead’s High Street if plans for a Sainsbury’s supermarket are given the final go-ahead on Thursday.

An application for a 3,000 sq ft store on land off Serbert Way has already been given the nod by North Somerset Councillors, subject to a package of financial contributions, known as a Section 106 agreement, being agreed.

This will be discussed during tomorrow’s meeting of the council’s north area planning committee and planning officers have recommended the agreement be approved.

Since the proposals for the store were first submitted in January, concerns have been raised about the supermarket taking trade away from the businesses in the High Street.

As a result, the section 106 agreement will see Sainsbury’s give close to �500,000 in contributions to help limit any adverse affect it could have on the High Street.

The work it will pay for would include providing increased public parking facilities near to the High Street and the continuation of a dial-a-ride or similar service and other bus services to improve accessibility to the town centre.

Improving pedestrian safety and accessibility would be achieved by upgrading pedestrian crossings as well as removing redundant ones.

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Better signs directing people from the store to the High Street and town centre would be put up, a crossing point over Wyndham Way would be created as well as a footpath between the store and the High Street.

Improvements would be made to Cabstand and better landscaping, lighting and pedestrian facilities would be created between Serbert Way and High Street.

Some money would also be used to promote and advertise the High Street as a place to visit and shop.

Plans for the Sainsbury’s store include a car park with 293 spaces and a recycling area, a bakery and a cafe.

If approved, the proposals will have to be looked at by the Secretary of State, who will decide whether to call them in for further consideration due to the fact the development falls outside of Portishead’s town centre.

If given the final go-ahead, it is expected that work will begin in summer next year with the store opening in 2012.