Fears B&M proposal will turn Clevedon into a ‘ghost town’
PUBLISHED: 08:55 31 August 2020 | UPDATED: 08:55 31 August 2020
More than 180 people have hit out plans for a key retail site they fear will ‘turn Clevedon into a ghost town’.
Wessex Investors has put forward a multi-million pound project to redevelop B&M to create a gym, shops, a café and 39 flats for over-60s.
Opponents say the town needs affordable housing, not retirement flats, and warned losing 121 parking spaces was the ‘worst thing possible’ for the Triangle.
Wessex Investors said in its application: “This multi-million pound investment will substantially improve the aesthetic and functional quality of the town centre.
“Crucially it will also secure the long-term ‘anchor’ retail presence required to enable the viability of future transformational improvements in Queen’s Square.”
Wessex Investors said the ‘senior living’ accommodation will allow the rest of the project to happen and is ‘an economic decision aimed at reducing the risk in a fragile retail market’.
It said the development would help to regenerate Clevedon and replace the ‘uninspiring 1980s box’ building with a ‘vibrant and integrated hub’.
Under the proposals, the B&M store would be extended and split into two shops, with a gym built above and a standalone café in the car park.
The one and two-bed ‘senior living’ flats would be built in a separate block, leaving 145 car parking spaces, plus 20 for residents.
The application says the firm owns the row of shops facing onto Queen’s Square and these could form a second phase of Clevedon’s regeneration.
Some 181 people have now objected to the proposals.
One said: “Clevedon will become a ghost town. We do not need any more flats for the elderly. We need to encourage more families.
“Without B&M, what would be the point of visiting the centre? There are already enough food outlets and who wants another gym. We already have far too many empty shops.”
Another said: “This makes no sense. There are already too many residential homes for older people in Clevedon. This should be kept as a shopping facility with parking to promote and aid commerce in the town.”
Only two people have supported the plans.
North Somerset Council will decide the fate of the application.
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