Over the last few years, South Hams District Council has considered proposals to bring more shoppers to the market town of Ivybridge by developing the Leonards Road car park including a discount food store.
It is estimated that an Aldi investment in this project would be £21 million over the 25 years. This is in addition to the initial construction costs invested by the Council. The store could create 30-40 jobs and attract an extra 100 shoppers at any one time, who in turn can take advantage of the wider town Ivybridge offer, including the leisure centre and high street.
The Council’s ‘Ivybridge Regeneration Project Team’ has now explored the possibilities and the options available to them. This includes consulting with the Town Council, local businesses and residents.
The consultation, which ended on 19 February 2020, had a robust response from residents. 66% of respondents told the Council that they felt a new supermarket would improve footfall into the town centre.
The Council listened carefully to previous public feedback where residents clearly said that they didn't want a drive through or pub included in the proposals. As such, the consultation was based on a smaller scheme which concentrates on key priorities to boost the town's growth.
There was strong support from survey respondents for a short stay car park with a whopping 87% in favour of changing from the current long stay. Residents also felt that they would increase their visits to the town centre if they were able to get an hour and a half of free parking to allow them to access the town's shops and businesses more easily. 57% responded to say they would support out of centre parking for the 6% of people who work in the town.
The results revealed that most shoppers drive to do their main, or top up, shop during the day, suggesting there would be a marked improvement to the economy of the town by those who would take advantage of the free parking opportunities.
Respondents also felt that by improving shopping choice, it would drive down the cost of food shopping and would encourage people to shop locally within the town, rather than outside of it.
“All retail small businesses face huge uncertainties at the moment and the regeneration project at Ivybridge when it gets delivered should help re- balance lost footfall from Tesco at Lee Mill and rejuvenate Ivybridge town for the benefit of businesses and the local economy.”
Pat White – Ivybridge Chamber of Commerce Chairman
“In summary, the principle of a supermarket development on the site can still be supported subject to satisfactory outcomes in relation to the various matters described above.”
Ivybridge Town Council
There are still some hurdles that we have to overcome, including the formal planning process, so it is really important to us that we continue talking with the town and continue discussing this project. If you are interested in this project, please sign up for updates by clicking the button below.
E-mail the Ivybridge Regeneration Project Team: Ivybridge.Regeneration@swdevon.gov.uk