Snooty councillors on the Conservative dominated Chandlers Ford and Hiltingbury local Area Committee have put the kibosh on a Co-op convenience store opening on Hursley road. Planning permission had been sought to convert the derelict Forum garage, fast becoming an eyesore, into a late night supermarket but the committee backed almost 600 residents who had signed a petition against the proposals.
The petition had been organised by Mrs. Krutika Shah whose family has run a Spar store located yards from the proposed site for over 25 years which would have faced closure if the Co-op plan had gone ahead.
The Co-operative society have business interests running from funeral services to dairy farms and run a profit sharing scheme which last year paid back £38 million to its customers.
They also sponsor the Cooperative party which funds around 30 Labour MPs including party leadership hopeful and former minister Ed Balls – who was recently out and about campaigning in Eastleigh .
Councillors cited an increase in traffic movements, opposition from the locals and the threat the store posed to local business as their reasons for refusal.
In 2002 the same local area committee approved planning permission for upmarket supermarket chain Waitrose to be built in Fryern – in the face of local opposition.
The opening of the Waitrose store resulted in a substantial increase in traffic movements on Oakmount Road and in the closure of the popular Alldays convenience store.
Ironically, the Alldays chain is now owned by the Co op.
The former Somerfield supermarket on Winchester road has just been re- branded as a Co op – so perhaps things have worked out ok. The Spar gets to stay open and there is still somewhere for socialists to shop in Chandlers Ford!