New Co-op on its way to Rothbury after plans given green light

Plans to flatten a Rothbury shop to make way for a Co-op store have been given the go-ahead by Northumberland councillors.

By Herbert Soden
Friday, 21st January 2022, 1:53 pm
Updated Friday, 21st January 2022, 2:13 pm
The site is currently home to a Mace convenience store.
The site is currently home to a Mace convenience store.

Sansec IH1 Ltd has been given planning permission to bulldoze the Mace Convenience Store, in Town Foot, to make way for the new premises.

A planning report said: “The new building would be two storey with a single storey rear off shot and would occupy the same frontage as the existing building, but would extend further back into the plot to give it a significantly larger footprint of approximately 475 square metres.”

When the parish council was asked for its feedback, it said a new convenience store was needed, but it had “major concerns” with parking and traffic management.

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The parish said the retailer needed to put in traffic management measures, particularly around the entrance to Wrights Square, Pots and Paws, La Mensa, bus stops and Brewery Lane.

The authority also received 18 objections from concerned members of the public who raised fears about about the impact of the proposals on highway safety and car parking within the town centre.

However, Northumberland County Council’s planning department recommended approval for the proposals, saying “the proposal represents an appropriate form of development that would not have a significant adverse impact on the appearance of the property, the street scene or the amenity of neighbouring land users.”

The North Northumberland Local Area Council backed authority planners and voted to approve the scheme.

Coun Jeff Watson, who represents Amble West with Warkworth, told the committee: “It’s a very difficult decision this one.

“The problem I see is that Rothbury has very limited spaced for a modern supermarket. If you don’t have it there, where do you have it?

“A bigger footfall means more people and more parking it is inevitable, but the benefit the people of Rothbury will get from a new supermarket.

“I’m sorry parish council it will give you problems, I know it will, but it has to go forward.”

The new Co-op will have a post office, and will replace the current store on Rothbury High Street.

A statement in support of the application added: “The existing store is too small to stock the full range of products required to maintain customer satisfaction and competitive pricing.”