Call for public meeting over Epworth supermarket plans

L-r Heather Leary, of Battle Green, Epworth, and Michael Hopkins, of West End Road, Epworth, study the proposed plans for a supermarket in Epworth.  Picture: Liz Mockler E1717LM
L-r Heather Leary, of Battle Green, Epworth, and Michael Hopkins, of West End Road, Epworth, study the proposed plans for a supermarket in Epworth. Picture: Liz Mockler E1717LM

A proposed new supermarket scheme in Epworth contravenes planning regulations, those opposed to the development claim.

Calls have now been made for a public meeting to discuss the full implications of the plans which also include a GP surgery and retirement as well as executive homes.

More than 500 people attended a two-day public consultation to see the plans by Tilbridge Developments which it is anticipated could create 200 jobs.

Opinion is divided with those opposed saying the development on land near the Holmes and Garden Centre could break town centre trade, create traffic congestion and ruin the rural character of Epworth.

But supporters welcomed the shopping option and 150-space car parking with direct links to the High Street. Others would like a new medical centre, although as yet no practice has signed up.

Giles Walter, of Tillbridge, said reaction was mixed. He said that the 17,000 sq ft supermarket was raising most concern but “would be food only and of a size that will enable people to do a weekly shop.”

He added: “We will submit a full traffic impact assessment.”

A total 39 retirement apartments would be overseen by McCarthy and Stone, and sold independently.

But Epworth town councillor Eddie Mardell cliamed the four executive homes were outside the approved local development framework.

He said: “This development is not a decision that should be taken by the council alone. We need a public meeting to seek the views of all residents.”

This was backed by Epworth resident Elizabeth Fennell, who was ‘very worried’ about congestion at the A161 junction in Belton Road, and the threat to town traders.

She said: “I don’t think people have yet considered the full implications.”

Frank Breen, 71, spoke of potential issues with boy racers and gangs congregating on a big central car park .

The Holmes and Garden Centre would move back to make way for the development.

Negotiations are underway for the purchase of land, including garden space off Belton Road, confirmed Tillbridge.

Residents’ comment forms will be submitted in the planning application to North Lincolnshire Council.

The next Open Town Meeting takes place on April 16 from 7pm at Epworth Imperial Hall.