Sainsbury's meet town traders
TRADE leaders at Morpeth met Sainsbury's bosses yesterday for crunch talks over a proposed new superstore.
The national chain is reported to be weighing up a site at Stobhill between the A196 Choppington road and the A192/Barmoor Bank.
Edinburgh-based property developer CWP confirmed last month it had agreed a deal for the farmland with hopes of creating a retail or business park.
Discussions have already taken place with Castle Morpeth Council over a possible development, with Sainsbury's declaring interest in setting up an anchor store.
The supermarket's North East Development Executive Paul Miller called the meeting with Morpeth Chamber of Trade to thrash out plans for the land.
Chamber leaders have already sounded their opposition to edge-of-town retail, warning that 'satellite' stores would kill high street trade.
Chairman Dave Pope, who runs a website design company, said: "We met with CWP and Sainsbury's to talk about their ideas for Stobhill.
"They wanted to make their pitch to us and other organisations and to try and allay our fears about out-of-town retail sites."
He added: "Myself and the Vice Chairman will discuss the outcome of the meeting with all members and decide on a way forward."
Sainsbury's remained tight-lipped last month about a bid for a Stobhill store, saying only 'we are actively seeking new sites in the North East'.
The London-based group's Property Communications Manager, Ben Littman, told the 'Herald': "We are looking at a number of sites across the North East, which has become a key area for us in the UK, as well as Scotland.
"We can't confirm any specific sites being looked at until something concrete is in place."
Sainsbury's interest in the County has already been established with the imminent development of stores at Alnwick and Ponteland.
CWP has identified the Stobhill site, operated by family market gardening firm Temple Brothers, as a 'natural expansion area' ideal for a shopping park.
Opposition to any future scheme is likely from the Chamber of Trade, which in the past has tried to block town edge shopping developments.
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Weather for Morpeth
Thursday 20 June 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: South east
Temperature: 10 C to 19 C
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