Wadebridge and Supermarkets

Tomorrow, the supermarket giants of Sainsbury’s and Morrisons battle it out for a site in Wadebridge. Cornwall Council’s Strategic Planning Committee will be deciding if one, two, or none get the go ahead.

The fear held by many is once a supermarket gains a hold in an area it sucks the life out of the town centre. The level of trade taken from a town centre is a hard one to judge. It will take some, but how much is the question. The Independent report by GVA has highlighted such the case in its report. It gives their predictions as to how much trade would be taken away.

The Morrisons site is the larger of the two sites with 2,120sq m net sales area and Sainsbury’s 1,957sq m. There is also a difference in comparison goods with Sainsbury’s having the larger non-food sales. Again, the question is how much trade will either of these supermarkets take away from a vibrant town centre.

In GVA’s report it is said Morrisons will have an impact of between 17% – 30% on Wadebridge’s town centre. This equates to between £1.5m and £2.9m diverted away from the town centre. For the Sainsbury’s store there is a slight difference of 17% – 29%. However, there is a sting in the tail if Morrisons is considered alongside the recent Tesco extension between £2.3m – £3.5m will be diverted, and between £2.8m -£4.1m if Sainsbury’s gets the go ahead.

As for support, Wadebridge Town Council supports Sainsbury’s, but not Morrisons. The recommendation in the report is approval (subject to a referral) for Sainsbury’s and refusal for Morrisons. If Sainsbury’s is approved it will pay near £831k in Section 106 contributions and if Morrisons gets the go-ahead it will pay £790k. This money would pay for various improvements/projects in and around Wadebridge.

This meeting will not be web-cast due to the meeting taking place in St Austell.


  • Gill Martin

    Lucky them, if they get a Morrisons, they wont have to mess about with stupid loyalty cards. Like my Sainsbuby's one that never wants to scan in the cafe, and then snaps in half and ends up in someone elses dinner half way across the room.

  • mellenoweth

    Been thinking much on s106 agreements lately, and your various travails with car parking.

    Also been thinking how hotly contested the market is, and whether we're getting best value from superstores in terms of value for the communities.

    Was wondering what the pros and cons would be in adding a requirement on all new superstore developments to fund a bus to themselves which also stops in the 'high street' of the local town, and requiring an amount per year to sponsor, say, free two hours parking in the local town centre car park(s) for the life of the store?

    While I'm dreaming, how about requiring provision of an advertising hoarding for local business/town centre with copy supplied and managed by Town Council, funded by superstore. And maybe sponsorship of twon centre loos?!

    These additions might help improve integration?

    Or even a simple levy per year paid to Town Council to be used as they see fit?

    The current s106 system seems often largely about a one-off payment – and some seem very generous – for example, ASDA was reported to have offered Hayle new Rugby Club, £5m to buy South Quay, buses, redeveloping A30 roundabout – that's a lot of upfront money, but less going forward, and less for town centre?

    Perhaps having more s106 as a recurring fund for parking, playgrounds – or even dog bins! – would help the community share some of the ongoing success of the store?

  • Cllr Andrew Wallis

    The Sainsbury's offer did include some sort of free parking scheme in the town.

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