Opposition to plans for new store in Long Bennington

The site selected in Long Bennington for the planned Lincolnshire Co-operative store.
The site selected in Long Bennington for the planned Lincolnshire Co-operative store.
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Plans to build a new food convenience store in the centre of Long Bennington have come as a ‘bombshell’ to village businesses.

The Lincolnshire Co-operative Society has applied to South Kesteven District Council for permission to build a store at 27 Main Road, Long Bennington.

The proposals submitted to SKDC on April 14 also include an access road to the store, a car park with 12 to 15 spaces and a service yard.

There is currently a 1950’s red brick house, workshops and the former petrol filling station Bennington Gear Change built of timber, breeze block and asbestos at the 1,925 square metre site, all of which will be demolished if the plans are approved.

The Lincolnshire Co-operative Society have revealed that the new store would represent an investment of £1.2 million and create between 12 and 14 jobs.

They have also highlighted their intention to stock local produce including Springhead beer from Laneham and goods from Gadsby’s Bakery based in Southwell.

However concerns have been expressed by nearby shop owners at the effect the new store will have on their businesses.

Neville Arnold who owns A.Arnold & Sons butchers at 41 Main Road said: “We’ve been here for just over 25 years and the shop itself has been here going back over 100 years.

“These plans are a bit of a bombshell. Obviously as a development we are against it because it will affect us and our sale of local produce.

“We don’t think it is necessary, and the site could be better used for some low-cost housing to help young people trying to buy homes.

“It would also spoil the character of Long Bennington,” he added.

Owner of Sienna’s Newsagents at 55 Main Road Jenny Britton said: “We have a bit of a mixed opinion about it. I’m not sure how much it will affect our sale of food and newspapers. Certainly a lot of customers who have come in though are talking about it and are not pleased.”

In a statement Lincolnshire Co-op’s Store Development Manager Matthew Wilkinson said: “We believe a new food store will offer people in the village of Long Bennington an extra choice when it comes to doing their top-up shopping.

“We hope that having a larger store close by with a range of different products may make shopping locally more convenient for residents rather than having to travel to nearby bigger towns.”

The Lincolnshire Co-operative Society is an independent co-op operating 78 food stores in the county and over 100 other outlets.

These include the Barrowbygate pharmacy in Grantham and the Lincolnshire Co-op Travel branch inside the Downtown Store at Gonerby Moor.