Dorset

North Dorset District Council approves Blandford Asda

Plans for a 24-hour supermarket have been conditionally approved for Blandford Forum in Dorset.

The Asda store at Blandford Heights in Shaftesbury Lane was given the go-ahead by North Dorset District Council's development management committee.

The plans for the store, which is expected to create 240 jobs, had been recommended for refusal.

Final approval is subject to planning conditions which will be set out at the committee's next meeting on 23 April.

'Local support'

Plans for the site also include parking, a petrol station and two blocks of business units, which are expected to create an extra 50 and 100 jobs.

The proposals had been recommended for refusal because the land was previously earmarked for "employment use", such as an industrial park, and not for retail.

A petition objecting to the store was signed by 124 people and nine letters of objection were also received by the council, with some concerns it would draw business away from independent traders in the town centre.

Another petition supporting the plans collected 276 signatures and the council also received 58 letters of support.

The reasons cited included the creation of employment and more spending within the town.

An Asda spokesperson said: "It was clear that there was a lot of support for the store from local residents and councillors."

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