Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Bishop's Waltham supermarket impact study launched

Artist's impression of new supermarket
Image caption The planning application for the new supermarket was granted last year

The impact of a controversial new supermarket on a Hampshire market town is to be assessed.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) will look at how a Sainsbury's store in Bishop's Waltham will affect local food producers and retailers.

CPRE said it was the first such study in the UK and would be "objective".

The supermarket planning application faced substantial local opposition but was granted by Winchester City Council last year.

Campaigners fought a two-year battle over the plans, arguing the store would have a negative impact on the character of the market town and damage High Street trade.

But many residents also backed the 35,000sq ft (3,251sq m) store.

Anthony McEwen, director of CPRE Hampshire, said the study was the first to be carried out by a market town.

Researchers will look at the effects of the new store on the so-called local food "web" - the network of links between producers, suppliers and retailers.

A completion date for the supermarket has not been confirmed.

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