Kingfisher survey shows opposition to Asda bid

By Ian Dipple Thursday 05 June 2014 Updated: 06/06 14:41

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Buy photos » An artist impression of what Asda could look like if plans are approved. (s)

MORE than three quarters of shoppers are against allowing Asda to create a supermarket outside of the town centre according to a new survey.

Bosses from Capital & Regional, owners of The Kingfisher Shopping Centre, questioned more than 500 people over two days on Asda’s proposal to build a 50,000 sq ft store out of the B&Q unit in Smallwood, as well as their own £10million plan to create a supermarket on the site of Car Park 4.

They say the initial results show over 76 per cent of people opposed the Asda application with more than 88 per cent of shoppers preferring to see a new food store in the town centre.

Over 91 per cent of those questioned expressed support for a supermarket at the Kingfisher Shopping Centre with the same number wanting to protect the town centre from more out of town retail development.

The findings come as it was revealed Asda has asked Redditch Borough Council to defer consideration of its application, due to be heard next Wednesday (June 11), to give the company time to provide more information.

Bosses at Capital & Regional insist allowing Asda to locate at Snallwood would severely damage businesses in the town centre, end the chances of ever getting a supermarket back in-town and force them to reconsider their own multi-million pound investment plans.

Andrew Haughey, retail asset manager for Capital & Regional, said: “Local people feel very strongly about protecting Redditch town centre and it was extremely useful to hear their feedback on our proposals.

There is a clear appetite for investment to be focused into the community and, as our research findings show, people are keen to protect the centre from damaging out-of-town development.

“We want to continue to invest in Redditch and we are confident we can deliver the food store local people want. We are now urging Redditch Borough Council to recognise this and support our town centre.”

However Asda also claims to have the backing of the public with its own survey of 250 residents carried out towards the end of last year showing 95 per cent supported the application.

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