11,000square-foot expansion plan for Plymouth supermarket is unveiled
SUPERMARKET chain Morrisons has unveiled its latest plan to build a huge extension at its Outland Road site and create 40 jobs.
The retailer is conducting a two-day consultation, which ends today at the branch, asking shoppers and residents what they think of a multi-million-pound plan to extend the store by 11,000sq ft, build a double-decker car park and re-configure the junction outside.
Some people backed the plan, others were concerned about traffic flow and noise.
But the Morrisons team stressed the development was needed because the store was too small for the number of customers it was attracting.
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The chain's development experts said it needed more space on the site, and that Plymouth needed more supermarket capacity too, with some stores congested with shoppers.
Morrisons spokesman Munish Chopra said the Outland Road store was "trading at double what it should do".
The new plan comes after Morrisons jettisoned an earlier proposal, pulling it from a council planning committee after officers recommended refusal.
The new plan, Mr Chopra said, addresses concerns raised at the time about access and appearance of the development.
Under the new proposal, Morrisons wants to increase the store size from 28,000sq ft to 39,000sq ft by building an extension on the front.
It would result in wider aisles, more check-outs and counters, and an enlarged cafe.
The new plan negates the need to cut down mature trees, however, and changes the road layout plan, dropping a proposed Outland Road entrance.
The new scheme realigns the junction with Torr Lane, shifts the entrance to a new mini-roundabout further up that road, and removes some traffic lights.
Car park spaces lost to make room for the extension would be replaced by building a second tier on part of the car park.
Mr Chopra stress this would be surrounded by a "green wall" with vegetation growing from the structure, to reduce noise and visual impact.
"This proposal is not looking to increase the number of customers coming to the store," he said. "We are looking to create a better shopping experience for existing customers.
"And this site will bring 40 extra jobs and put tens of millions of pounds into the local economy."
Morrisons has been collecting comments from the public and will study these before submitting another planning application.
"It could evolve," Mr Chopra said.
Nearby resident Susan Haddon said the store was "fine" as it is, and said: "Where are all the people going to park?"
But Alison Beckett, also living nearby, said the extension would be "a good idea".
"It's a busy shop and needs space," she said.
But she added: "What worries me is the build-up of traffic. I don't think this will relieve it."
Jeffrey Jacobs, from Eggbuckland, liked the plan, and said: "It's brilliant. The more the merrier. I'd love to see it up."
A man with relatives living near the store, added: "I think it's unnecessary. I've got concerns about traffic."
A woman from Manadon said: "I don't like it. It's more cars and noise."
But another man, living nearby, said: "I like the idea. There's a traffic problem at the moment. As long as they improve that."