ASDA says that it expects a decision on its new store in Newport – which now includes proposals for an improved pedestrian/cycle route and a bus link into the town centre as well as a commitment to promote local businesses – will be made early in the New Year.
ASDA’s project continues to attract significant support from Island residents looking for the greater choice and competition that a new ASDA store will bring, as well as 450 much needed jobs. The company has confirmed that if the store is given the go ahead, construction work on this major development will begin as soon as possible.
The proposed site on St George’s Way is owned by the Isle of Wight Council – meaning proceeds from the sale of the land will stay on the Island and be invested in the local community.
The company has recently submitted further planning documents to the Council which promise significant investment in the pedestrian/cycle route between the store and Pyle Street in the town centre to create a safe and attractive link that will encourage shoppers into Newport. Further, ASDA will fund a bus link between the store and the town centre for up to three years. Also included in the new documents is a proposal to improve the N9 woodland pedestrian route from Pan Lane to Home Meade and a commitment to promote Newport town centre in the ASDA foyer area.
ASDA has previously confirmed that it will be providing a ‘Changing Places’ accessible toilet in the store and free medium stay parking in the ASDA car park for shoppers visiting Newport. The company will also enter into a Local Labour Agreement with Job Centre Plus and other Island agencies to ensure the best outcomes for local people during the store recruitment process.
ASDA’s Head of Property Communications, Doug Wilson told Island Echo:
“Everybody on the Island knows that an alternative proposal for a retail superstore in Newport has been put forward by the owners of St George’s Park, the home of Newport Football Club. But our project is the only one that guarantees an ASDA on the Isle of Wight.
“We chose not to pursue the football club site at the outset of the process for specific reasons – there is not adequate space for our store on the football club site; and part of the site is in Flood Zone 2. Both sites are equally accessible from the town centre by pedestrians and cycles and will be by public transport when new bus stops are installed.
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“Most importantly, the alternative planning application is an outline application for a retail superstore not an ASDA. We have no contract and no relationship with the owners of St George’s Park. If the proposal is successful, the site could be sold to any retail investor. Moreover, the St George’s Park proposal requires land owned by the Isle of Wight Council for which ASDA already has a contract – so it is not clear how the site can move forward in either the short or medium term.
“Our proposal is ready to go and the land is available immediately. If permission is granted we will begin work as soon as possible, giving a big boost to the local economy and creating jobs.”