NEW HOMEBASE WILL HIT FAVERSHAM TRADERS AND INCREASE TRAFFIC, WARNS EURO-MP
PLANS to build a new DIY superstore near the A2 in Kent will destroy the
area’s unique character, force locals out of business – and increase traffic
congestion and related ill-health, a Euro-MP has warned.
Green Party MEP Caroline Lucas has called on Swale Borough Council to reject
plans for a Homebase store on land at Bysingwood Road, Faversham – in line
with Government guidance to concentrate develop in town centres rather than
‘out of town’.
“Building a new DIY superstore will have a negative impact on the local
economy, the health of local people, the environment – and the unique
character of Faversham and Ospringe,” said Dr Lucas.
“And for what? There are already builders’ merchants near the proposed
store, and a number of smaller DIY retailers, all of whom will be threatened
by the presence of a new, unnecessary DIY superstore.
“Granting permission will inevitably lead to a negative impact on other
local businesses, leading in turn to reduced choice for consumers and job
losses: I urge planners at Swale Borough Council to act in line with
government guidance and reject the plans.”
The South-East England MEP also told planners a new out-of-town store will
exacerbate existing congestion on the A2, creating levels of traffic which
could be detrimental to human health and the environment.
She added: “Some 20,000 High Street shops have gone out of business
nationally since 1997 – that’s about 50 every week – mainly due to the
dominance of the retail sector by out-of-town superstores.
“The reality is that out-of-town retailing undermines the fabric of
communities – and I hope Swale Borough Council rejects this application and
does whatever it can to protect the unique towns of Faversham and Ospringe
from the onslaught of a new retail park.”