Store bid to breathe new life into Torquay town centre
A BUSY car park in Torquay could be the site of a new 40,000 sq ft supermarket which it is hoped will breathe new life into the town centre.
Torbay Council has revealed it has been in talks with a potential developer about the future of the Town Hall car park in Lymington Road.
If the council agrees to lease the land next month, the way could be opened for an application for a supermarket with car parking.
It is hoped the scheme will do for Torquay what Asda has done for Newton Abbot.
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Deputy mayor Dave Thomas (pictured) said: "The supermarket involved would be down to the developer. They have spoken to a number. We do not yet have a name.
"I see it as a major opportunity for Torquay to start to drive business into the top end to revitalise the town centre. It would start to give people a reason to come back into the town centre to do their weekly shop.
"For me that could do for Torquay exactly what Asda has done for Newton Abbot. It is in a similar position in relation to the town centre as Asda is to Newton Abbot. Before the shops in that area were starting to look very tired. They are not now. People are actually using those shops.
"Like Asda this supermarket will have sufficient car parking for people to be able to park there to go into the town centre. If we get the right scheme in Torquay we could see the same happening for the top of town, the Castle Circus area. It is a great opportunity."
The lay out of the supermarket and a potential multi-storey car park would be decided by planners. Previously planning permission had been granted for a £6.8million 40,000 sq ft business centre with up to date office facilities on part of the car park, parallel with Lymington Road.
Cllr Thomas said the council is in a three month exclusive negotiation with a developer which he could not name. That concludes next month.
He said: "I am hopeful that at the December council meeting a resolution will go ahead to grant a lease in principal. It would then be subject to the normal planning process. The supermarket could be about 40,000 sq ft which is about the size of Sainsbury's current store in Paignton.
"At this very early stage nothing has been ruled out or in."