Sunday, October 22, 2006

Fishy Supermarket War in Powys

Sunday morning call to alert me to a strange tale of two supermarket planning applications in Powys with a decidedly fishy smell. One application is by Ross Developments in Welshpool and involves the relocation of the Town's livestock market to a site outside the town centre. Permission for the livestock market has already been granted. My mole tells me that the Planning Department are doing everything they can to frustrate the application, which has been in for several months. Last week, so I am told, the gloves came off and the planners admitted that they see Welshpool as being within the catchment of the nearby town of Newtown - so it does not need a new supermarket at all. It will have to make do with its Morrisons which does not even stock Welsh butter (see below).
Now you might ask about what this has to do with a fishy smell. Well, the Local Planning Authority, otherwise known as Powys County Coucil, happens to be the owner of the site in Newtown which it hopes to sell to Tesco for a figure in excess of £7 million. The Newtown site is a long way from the retail centre - while Welshpool is on the edge of it. Traffic problems are much more of a problem at the Newtown site than Welshpool. And with no supermarket on the Welshpool site, there will be no money for the desperately needed new livestock market to go ahead. It looks like a lose-lose situation to me.
The smell is so fishy that I hope that Carwyn Jones, the 'Planning' Minister in the National Assembly will 'call-in' the Newtown development. It is always best to check a fishy smell to make sure that there is nothing putrid causing it.

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