Tesco development set to go ahead under several conditions

The development will be built on the Mill Street Car Park. Photo - Guy Drury

The development will be built on the Mill Street Car Park. Photo – Guy Drury

THE PLANS for a Marks & Spencer and Tesco development at Mill Street have now been approved and can be built, if developers agree to several conditions.

Following a Development Control meeting held last Wednesday (13th), at which councillors approved the plans by 19 votes to one, the developers have been given several conditions to adhere to before they can begin work on the project, which has been referred to as “one of the most important developments in Ceredigion”.

Plaid Cymru councillor Mark Strong was the only councillor to vote against it, saying he didn’t want to face independent shopkeepers struggling and telling him he’d “made a mistake in three years’ time”.

For the development, the land around Mill Street will be demolished, including Park Avenue Day Centre, the Drill Hall and the old Lucas Depot, in addition to houses in Glyndwr Road.

A public inquiry by the Welsh Government will now decide whether to issue a Compulsory Purchase Order to Enid Jones, the last resident to agree to sell her home.  A letter from her solicitor, Mair Williams, accused the county council of failing to be transparent about the plans when they were revealed to include Glyndwr Road.

Other concerns raised by the public include the loss of trees, the demolition of the Day Centre, vehicle movements, flooding, the loss of disabled parking bays and noise during construction for Riverside Terrace residents. Councillors also raised concerns about increased HGV traffic, especially over Trefechan Bridge. However, the traffic element has already been approved by the Welsh Government and their highways engineers, revealed Richard Duggan, the planning officer. He also revealed that Natural Resources Wales were satisfied the development would not increase the risk of flooding, saying “we can’t go against expert advice that says we can approve this”.

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An artists’ impression of the development

Described by Cllr Peter Davies as a “once in a lifetime opportunity”, the development is set to create 295 full-time jobs amounting to nearly £3m per year in wages. Davies said that Aberystwyth is in “urgent need of investment”, and said the development “will make a big difference to Aberystwyth and more shops will follow as the town becomes more prosperous”.

 

The conditions of the development include:

  • Road improvements around the town
  • £170,000 towards improved signage and pedestrian areas
  • £15,000 grant to Coed Aber (which is planting trees to line Park Avenue), and
  • A grant to the local bus services for five years after the project is complete (meaning two buses an hour will stop there)

Work could start on the development next spring and is expected to be open by Christmas 2016.