We all benefit from supermarket wars

I am very disappointed to read that the county’s development management committee has recommended refusal for the Asda and Morrisons applications (“Supermarket plans come under fire”, Gazette, December 5).

I also understand that Asda and Morrisons were not invited to this meeting. Why not?

I believe that the people of Barnstaple and the local council should thank their lucky stars that major supermarkets want to invest in our town.

I am sure that in the light of our national economy there would be many other towns that would welcome them with open arms.

Since the opening of the new Tesco, the local community has benefited – giving them more choice as well as a healthy competition with Sainsbury’s, ie food and petrol costs. More competition can only be good for us all.

In my opinion the council can help the town by offering free parking, for maybe an hour, to encourage more shoppers.

They should also review the smaller shops’ business rates.

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The committee needs to get in the real world – they might have secure jobs, other people in the area also need jobs.

Look what has happened to Shaplands. Comet and possibly Staples will go in the new year.

Shaplands is an eyesore and not a good image for Barnstaple’s tourism. The longer the site stays derelict, the longer the council will be out of pocket – ie business rates.

I keep reading that approximately 3,000 new homes will be built over the next few years, stretching from Yelland to Landkey.

Will all of these potential buyers have jobs? I don’t think so. Will the council be employing them? I don’t think so.

Alan Phillips

(address supplied)

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