Public gives its backing to Asda proposal

Redditch Advertiser: An artist's impression of what the new Asda will look like An artist's impression of what the new Asda will look like

ASDA’S plans to open a new store in Redditch have gained early support from the community.

It wants to build a store on the B&Q site at Jinnah Road, Smallwood. The plans would also see B&Q convert its existing unit into a ‘new generation B&Q’ store on the site.

The local economy stands to receive a huge boost if the scheme gets the go ahead, with the Asda store set to create up to 400 new jobs for residents and B&Q’s own plans safeguarding its existing jobs.

Before submitting a planning application in the new year, Asda and B&Q were keen to share the proposal with residents to gain as much feedback as possible. A public exhibition was held on Thursday and Friday, December 5 and 6 at Redditch Library, with a team on hand to explain the proposal, answer questions and collect feedback.

Around 250 people visited over the two days, with more than 95 per cent of people voicing clear support for the scheme. As well as a full display of the proposal, detailed leaflets were available to visitors which contained a feedback form for comments or questions. Many forms are expected to be returned via ‘freepost’.

A dedicated website has also been set up that provides details of the proposal and also a mechanism for feeding back further views to the Asda/B&Q team at asdaredditch.co.uk. The website is designed to be active throughout the planning process.

A planning application will be submitted soon in the new year, with a decision expected by Redditch Borough Council around the middle of 2014. Should planning consent be granted, the full scheme should be up and running by early 2015.

The Asda proposal is for a new 50,000 sq ft (sales area) store, which will carry a full selection of food and non-food lines. In addition to the benefits for local shoppers, the store will include an array of ‘state-of-the-art’ environmental features to ensure it is constructed and run in a fully sustainable manner.

The new B&Q will decrease in size but include a new garden centre. It will havea new layout, lower level displays and colour coded signage, along with the latest trend products in the likes of decor, home furnishings and lighting plus everything needed for the garden year-round.

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