Supermarket plans to be debated in Malmesbury

A public meeting over two supermarket proposals in Wiltshire is to be held later.

Waitrose and Sainsbury's will outline their plans for their stores in Malmesbury at a public meeting.

Sainsbury's said the new development could create jobs and would include new "employment units" for the town.

The Waitrose store would be "appropriate in scale" for Malmesbury, and according to the firm would enhance choice for shoppers.

'Vibrant high street'

Simon Killane, the unitary councillor for Malmesbury, said local residents were concerned about the impact it would have on the high street.

"We've got a very vibrant high street so the worry is if a supermarket gets built, depending on the location, scale, and what it sells, it could be a major threat to our high street.

"But on the other side we have one supermarket, large scale housing estates, and a lot of people drive 10-15 miles to another town to shop - so a lot of people say we could do with the competition."

Waitrose also plans to hold two public exhibitions on Thursday and Friday at the town hall.

Nigel Keen, Waitrose director of development, said: "We are continuing to develop plans for a food-focused store which will remain appropriate in scale for Malmesbury and enhance the choice of shopping facilities already available.

"Listening to the needs and the views of the local community is paramount in our approach and we look forward to speaking to local shopkeepers and residents at the exhibition."

Ben Littman, Sainsbury's regional development executive, said: "If granted planning permission, our investment in Malmesbury will create new jobs and support local enterprise through the creation of new employment units."

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