Residents check out store plans online

A NEW campaign website has been launched for residents to discuss hotly-contested plans to build a supermarket in Amble.

And the online facility is also designed for people to give feedback about what makes the seaside town special and propose ways of attracting more tourists.

Town resident Roger Armsden is behind the Keep Amble Special website, which can be found at www.keepamblespecial.co.uk

It comes in the wake of a planning application from the Northumberland Estates and development partner Tesco for a new store.

The partners already have outline permission for the development – a 30,000sq ft store with 200-space car park on land north of Queen Street, and a new access road across part of the Braid – but submitted the reserved matters application to Northumberland County Council at the beginning of December.

The bid has come under fire though and objectors have since called for a public inquiry.

And Mr Armsden, who claims there has been a lack of public consultation and a limited chance for the public to discuss the scheme, said: “I decided to create a website where there could be a free and open debate about the impact of a new supermarket on the town, and just as importantly identify what everyone thought made Amble such a special place and how this could be used to attract more tourists to the town.”

He said that Amble was coming back into the limelight and that the Braid was one of the things that made the town special.

“Although most of the Braid was registered as a Town Green in 2009, there are plans to build an access road to a supermarket across the remaining (unregistered) part of the Braid,” he said.

“Although the town is keen to have a new supermarket, there are three other alternative sites currently available that haven’t been considered yet. There’s even an alternative access route from the existing site which isn’t being considered at present, so there could still be a new supermarket without the Braid having to be lost. If the new supermarket is built it will change Amble forever, so everyone needs to think about things carefully,” he added.

To mark the start of the campaign, a competition has been launched with a £50 voucher towards a meal at the town’s Zecca Restaurant for a family of four up for grabs

To enter, answer three questions – How many Tescos are there in the UK? Where is the only other Braid in the UK? What makes Amble special for you? – and email them back via the website.

Entries need to be in by Monday, February 21 and the prize must be taken by March 31.