Co-op in bid to block proposed new Jedburgh supermarket

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the Co-op has objected to a new supermarket planned for Jedburgh.

A Kent-based company hopes to build a store nearly double the size of the town’s High Street Co-op on the old Oregon Timber site and create a reported 110 jobs.

But the Co-op, currently Jedburgh’s only supermarket, is objecting, saying the site on Edinburgh Road is employment land and disputes the store will be big enough to pull back the out-of-town shoppers it says it will.

Sheppy Industrials plans a 1,300 square metre (14,000 square foot) food store with 89 car parking spaces.

And a retail assessment for the proposed supermarket says it will pull back £5million a year currently being spent by locals on food in other towns.

The assessment says: “Three quarters of trade (in the new store) would be clawback from shoppers going to other towns to do their main shop.”

It also claims Jedburgh’s two Co-op stores are “over-trading” compared to the Co-op’s national store average.

The assessors say the new store would be taking only a total of 10 per cent of trade from other shops and, within that, the worst-case scenario would be taking 12 per cent from the Co-op.

“An overall 10 per cent trade diversion in Jedburgh would not have a significant effect on the vitality and viability of the town centre.

“The Co-op and other shops in Jedburgh are used to a greater extent for top-up food shopping rather than main food shopping.

“Even with a trade diversion of 12 per cent, the Co-op would continue to trade at well above its company average, ” say the assessors.

They estimate the new supermarket’s turnover could be £7million a year and note that the Co-op’s two stores in Jedburgh are on £5.9million annually.

Objecting, the Co-op’s Elaine Hamilton said the planned store would be contrary to the agreed Local Plan for Jedburgh which zones the site employment land which bars shops, adding: “No evidence appears to have been provided to justify the loss of this protected employment site.

“Allowing a supermarket there could set a precedent and would reduce the space available for the businesses.

“Convenience retailing in this location would actively alter the character and nature of the employment area and increase development pressure for alternative uses which could diminish land levels for business and industrial use,” she told planning officials.

And she describes claims on the amount of trade the new store could get back from out-of-town spending as “audacious”.

“A store of this size will not be able to claw back a significant level of expenditure as it will not be a comparable offer to stores that shoppers seek outwith Jedburgh,” she says, adding: “This would result in a much higher impact on the town centre than predicted.”

Scottish Borders Council will look at the plans early next year.