Planning panel gives green light for new supermarket in St Ives

Artist's impression of Morrisons, in St Ives

Artist's impression of Morrisons, in St Ives - Credit: Archant

Morrisons has been given the green light to build a supermarket in St Ives.

Members of Huntingdonshire District Council’s development management panel voted in favour of plans to allow the company to open a store in Harrison Way.

This is despite a condition on an additional non-food unit after concerns were raised by town councillor Nick Dibben that the unit could draw trade away from the town centre.

“The town council would like to see that the retail unit must not be subdivided in the future. Then the store wouldn’t have much smaller retail units that could be found in the town centre from existing shops or spare land,” Cllr Dibben said.

Councillor Jason Ablewhite, who represents St Ives, told the meeting he feared that customers could dessert the town centre if the 10,500 sq ft unit was able to be split.

“This application when it first came around I had never had so much support from residents,” Cllr Ablewhite said.

“However there is potential for the retail unit to have a negative impact on an already struggling town centre.”

Most Read

Morrisons development executive James Smith agreed to a condition from members that will stop any subdivision of the retail unit.

“There will be an occupier there to take the whole unit and our intention is to let it as one unit,” Mr Smith told the meeting.

A public consultation carried out by Morrisons saw more than 670 people respond, with 90 per cent of those backing the plans.

As a part of the approval the chain will make a contribution of £241,000 to improve the bus network by the store, and giving customers free journeys for the first two months.

The company were given planning permission by the district council in 2013 but following re-think new proposals were revealed in September last year.

Within the proposal the size of the supermarket was reduced from 63,750 sq ft to 44,000 sq ft.

It is expected that the store will create 200 new jobs, with the additional retail unit adding up to 30 more jobs for local people.