Concerns over Chipping Sodbury Waitrose development

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Concerns have been raised over the environmental impact of a planned Waitrose supermarket and 190 homes in South Gloucestershire.

An outline planning application for the development at the former Barnhill Quarry site in Chipping Sodbury was submitted last month.

Avon Wildlife Trust said it was worried about the impact on bats and dormice in the Ridgewood Local Nature Reserve.

The developers said they had been fully considering the concerns.

Steve Granger, the chief executive of Avon Wildlife Trust, said: "We're talking about a site where the whole central area of the quarry is going to be raised with infill. The whole character of the area is going to be totally destroyed to start with.

"The developer may put a few things back, which may in time produce some benefits, but lets be clear that the scheme basically is to destroy the site at the outset."

'On their doorstep'

Other objectors said the supermarket was "unnecessary" because there are three supermarkets nearby, a food store in Chipping Sodbury and independent shops.

Parish clerk Nigel Rawlins said: "We do still have two very good independent butchers, a independent greengrocer an independent baker - these will undoubtedly find it difficult to trade with another large supermarket right on their doorstep."

A spokesman for the developers, Chelverton Deeley Freed, said the new store would improve the vitality of the town centre since residents and people from further away would be able to visit both Waitrose and the existing independent shops.

He said: "The planning process is there to ensure that due consideration is given to a whole range of aspects including environmental concerns.

"We are of course aware that this is a sensitive site and of great geological interest, but see this as a chance to look at environmental opportunities not just environmental constraints.

"We have given full consideration throughout the consultation process to addressing any concerns that have been raised."

He said that if planning permission was granted, building work was likely to start in autumn next year.

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