Supermarket expansion 'at limit' in Amber Valley

image captionMr Parkinson said there were enough "large brand" retail stores in the borough

The expansion of supermarkets may have reached a limit in part of Derbyshire, according to one borough councillor.

Kevin Parkinson, support cabinet member for regeneration in Amber Valley, said the area had its "full share".

An Asda superstore recently opened at Langley Mill and Tesco has proposed building a new store at Belper.

Mr Parkinson's comments come as BBC research reveals the number of planning approvals by Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's and Morrisons in the past two years.

These include all types of new outlet, such as small high street stores.

Local authorities around the UK were asked how many planning applications had been successful in the two years from 1 November 2008, including those for existing buildings which had already been in use as shops.

Not all councils responded, but the figures from those that did show at least nine stores were given the go-ahead in Derbyshire.

Of those, three were approved by Chesterfield Borough Council and two by Derby City Council, with one in Amber Valley.

These are relatively low numbers compared to other parts of the UK. In Glasgow, for example, 22 were approved, while 12 were successful in Leicester.

Mr Parkinson - who is in charge of regeneration in Heanor and Langley mill - said: "We certainly don't need any more within Heanor and the other market towns as well.

"So I think we've got our full complimentary share of large brand retail shops within Amber Valley now."

In 2007, Tesco proposed an 80,000 sq ft store on the site of an old Thorntons chocolate factory in Belper, though the plans have yet to be submitted.

A group of residents organised a campaign against the store and called themselves Belper Against Tesco Superstore (BATS).

Andy Minion, spokesman for the group, said the town already had three supermarkets and feared another one, on the edge of Belper, would encourage shoppers away from the high street.

"We have a number of Tescos... in Heanor, Alfreton - they are both edge-of-town developments," he said.

"You look at what was once a perfectly OK high street in the town and the shutters have gone up, they are full of charity shops and empty units."

However, not everyone is against the Tesco development. A Facebook group called Belper for Tesco has 600 members.

A Tesco spokesman said: "This is a derelict former factory site and we believe it is important that the right regeneration can be brought forward creating jobs and facilities for local people.

"We have no plans submitted at the moment in Belper. We are aware of the fantastic heritage location and will develop plans in conjunction with the council and local people in the coming months."

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