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    James Hall makes second bid for new Spar store in Rochdale

    Former Lake Garage, Smithy Bridge Road,Littleborough. (Photo: Smith & Love Planning Consultants)

    Revamped plans for a new Spar convenience store have been submitted after the original scheme was rejected over road safety concerns.

    The proposals could see a new shop built on the site of the vacant Lake Garage, in Littleborough, Rochdale – bringing 30 new jobs to the area.

    Initial plans for the Smithy Bridge Road plot were turned down by the council  – and later dismissed at appeal – on the grounds they would be ‘detrimental to highway safety for all users of the highway, including the visually impaired’.

    However applicant James Hall & Co Ltd says that these have been ‘thoroughly addressed’ by the new scheme which boasts ‘a revised store design and site layout’.

    “The current proposal is significantly different to the original proposal in that it prioritises pedestrian movement both within and adjacent to the site along Smithy Bridge Road,” planning papers add.

    This includes reducing the number of access points from three to one, a dedicated pedestrian route to the store entrance and the use of tactile paving.

    The new scheme proposes demolishing the current buildings on the site – previously home to a motor dealership and MOT/car repair garage – to make way for the new store, car parking and ATM cash machine.

    Described as ‘contemporary in its appearance’ – the part two-storey shop would be built mainly of brick, but with timber cladding providing a ‘contrasting material’ on the upper sections.

    According to planning papers fewer people now do a weekly ‘big shop’ – meaning more convenience stores are now popping up in residential areas.

    This, it is argued, allows for ‘more sustainable shopping patterns and supporting social inclusion for those without private transport’.

    “The proposed convenience store will meet the day-to-day convenience shopping needs of local residents without the need to travel further afield,” documents add.

    “The site will be visually enhanced and greater consumer choice will also be of benefit to local residents within walking distance of a residential catchment area, reducing the need to travel by car.

    “These economic, social and environmental benefits weigh in favour of the proposal.”

    Papers say there are no preferable sites and the new store would’ not result in an adverse impact on the vitality and viability’ of Littleborough village centre.

    Parking would provided for 18 cars – including two disabled bays, two staff spaces and an electric vehicle charging point

    The store would also generate 30 permanent jobs – 15 full-time and 15 part-time, as well generating construction jobs in the short term.

    The proposed opening hours are between 6am and 11pm seven days a week, including Sundays and bank holidays.

    Rochdale council will decide whether to grant planning permission.

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