Traders fight out of town development

PUBLISHED: 17:20 17 January 2008 | UPDATED: 17:56 31 May 2010

Anup Morzaria stands in defiance outside Yogi Pharmacy Picture: DICK HARDING

Anup Morzaria stands in defiance outside Yogi Pharmacy Picture: DICK HARDING

TRADERS in Dunmow have blasted a strategy, which suggests building a new shopping development on the edge of town. Uttlesford District Council (UDC) has produced a core strategy document seeking to entice new shops to the outskirts of the town centre as g

TRADERS in Dunmow have blasted a strategy, which suggests building a new shopping development on the edge of town.

Uttlesford District Council (UDC) has produced a core strategy document seeking to entice new shops to the outskirts of the town centre as growth in the High Street "is very limited in opportunities for significant retail floorspace."

Maggie Milne, owner of Maggies Trinkets, in Dunmow High Street, said: "Tesco

killed the grocery stores in Dunmow because everybody went out of town.

"If they want to keep the town historical they should encourage shoppers into the town by removing parking fees and moving the Tuesday market to Market Square.

"It's a real shame Uttlesford District Council appears to want to kill the town.

"Out of town shopping will lead to a development like Freeport near Braintree and that is awful.

"They [Uttlesford] don't seem to think that having bigger stores on the outskirts of town will impact on local business, it

will, we will be put out of business and where will the historical centre be then?"

Mike Perry, chairman of the Dunmow Chamber of Commerce, agreed when he rubbished the idea at a meeting of the chamber on Monday night, saying the core strategy document is flawed.

He said: "Why can they build anywhere they like, and do what they want, but then in the same document, tell us that we have to obey the rules."

The document states that because of the historic nature of the town centre there is limited potential in Great Dunmow to deliver additional shops to support the retail function of

the centre.

In order to offer more shopping in Dunmow and reduce the amount of people shopping away from the district to places like Chelmsford or Bishop's Stortford, the council has outlined a preferred approach, which is to allow some new development on the edge of the town, including the expansion of existing edge of town supermarkets subject to public consultation.

This has also angered Anup Morzaria, owner of Yogi Pharmacy, who has been trading in the town for 22 years and

has witnessed much out of

town expansion.

He said: "To my knowledge we have lost two small food retailers including Luckins, two butchers, two fruit and vegetable shops and two bakers from the town centre.

"The eastern sector, which is currently being developed promises to place more retail space into the High Street, when existing retail space is still being approved for change of use, like Traders on the High Street."

Uttlesford District Council is currently preparing a final document to be submitted to the government in spring this year.

But Mr Morzaria has urged UDC to rethink and redraft the document, saying: "I firmly believe that policy should be based on sound evidence and not because there is pressure to produce a document.

"We should be able to learn from previous experience both locally and nationally."

# WHAT?do you think? E-mail your views to the Dunmow Broadcast newsdesk at editor@dunmow-broadcast.co.uk

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