THE owner of Redditch's Kingfisher Shopping Centre is to show proposals for an in-town supermarket at forthcoming public drop in sessions in the centre.
But it has said that this investment cannot be delivered if Asda’s out-of-town planning application for a new 50,000 sq ft store in Smallwood is given approval by the council.
However, Asda says it is unaware of "any supermarket operator being associated with the Kingfisher Centre".
Kingfisher owners Capital & Regional has objected to the Asda scheme, stating that Redditch can only accommodate one food store operator and if Asda is given permission to go out of town it will destroy the chances of an in-town supermarket and threaten long-term investment into Redditch town centre.
The company says the Asda proposal is not aligned with government policy, which prioritises town centre development first. Rather, the store will harm the town centre, pull people away from the heart of the community, compete with in town retailers, cause job losses and threaten the town centre with decline.
It also states that an in-town food store would be much more accessible for local people, particularly those without cars. The food store would be close to the bus and train stations, would support the local economy, deliver hundreds of new jobs and help create a busy, vibrant town centre.
Mark Bourgeois, Capital & Regional executive director said: “We have listened to our customers and know that a supermarket is at the top of their wish list. We have credible plans to deliver an in-town food store of comparable size to Asda’s out of town application, however we simply can’t do so if a large out-of-town supermarket is given permission.
“As a landowner in the town, we wholeheartedly support development and investment into Redditch but we strongly believe it should be directed into the heart of the community.
"If Asda’s plans were to go ahead it would be a hammer blow to the future of the town centre and would certainly ruin the chances of an in-town food store.”
Since it purchased the Kingfisher Shopping Centre in 2012, Capital & Regional's has created a night-time economy and transformed the centre’s catering and leisure offer by bringing a Pure Gym, Nandos and Real China, which is to open soon, to the centre.
Further work is now planned as part of Capital & Regional’s multi-million pound improvement plan for the Kingfisher Shopping Centre. This includes changes to Worcester Square and Evesham Walk, which will create retail ‘zones’ and help secure leading fashion brands. More detail is to be released soon.
Capital & Regional’s proposals will show the opportunity for an in-town supermarket and will encourage residents to have their say about the future of the town centre. The sessions will take place on Saturday, May 31 and Monday, June 2 at Worcester Square in the kingfisher Centre between 10am and 4pm at the Kingfisher Shopping Centre.
An Asda spokesman said: "Our plans have been very well received by local residents and representatives in Redditch. The new Asda store, with a petrol station, will help retain and attract supermarket shoppers to Redditch, as well as creating up to 400 new jobs in the area. Our proposal will be brought forward quickly and the store can be opened in 2015 - generating local jobs and giving more supermarket choice to hard pressed families and shoppers.
"We are unaware of any supermarket operator being associated with the Kingfisher development and note the timing of their planned application."