New Co-Op store plans met with opposition

St John's Garage Bungay

The former petrol station on Bardolph Road, at the junction with St John's Road, in Bungay could be turned into a Co-Op convenience store. - Credit: Google Maps

Plans for a convenience store on a former petrol station site have been met with opposition from residents and councillors.

The plans would see the former petrol station, garage workshop and showroom on Bardolph Road in Bungay transformed into a Co-Op.

Members of Bungay Town Council's planning, environment and highways committee, however, unanimously recommended refusing the plans, labelling the proposal "ill thought out".

St John's Garage Bungay

The former petrol station on Bardolph Road, at the junction with St John's Road, in Bungay could be turned into a Co-Op convenience store. - Credit: Google Maps

Councillor Dave O'Neill said: "The application is far from ideal in a number of ways. They have very carefully mimicked the previous buildings which were there before it was demolished, which makes it difficult to object on design grounds, but it is not a very flattering design or one that merges into the environment.

"The major economic issue for the town is the impact it will have on the town centre shops. 

"Traffic and access to the site is a major issue. St John's Road is perhaps the busiest in the town."

The site, at the junction with St John's Road, would also include four residential flats above the retail unit, and could provide up to 25 jobs should the store open.

Former Bungay mayor Bob Prior.

Former Bungay mayor Bob Prior. - Credit: Bungay Town Council

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Town mayor Bob Prior said: "There are a number of issues I do not like about this application and I am concerned in principle about the impact it will have on the town centre.

"I think it is an ill thought out plan because of where the site is.

"It will have a massive adverse affect on the town centre at a time when they are all struggling.

"They haven't looked at sustainable travel and it is encouraging more cars to get on the road for the odd bottle of milk."

A number of people living on St John's Road voiced concerns during the meeting, held on Zoom on Monday, December 7, including about an increase in traffic, the sale of alcohol in a residential area, and a lack of consultation with residents from the applicant.

Councillor Lee Harnden said: "This is a wholly inappropriate proposal. It is in the wrong place and will destroy the town centre."

The proposals will be decided by East Suffolk Council, as the planning authority, at a later date. 

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