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Friday, 25 July 2014

Supermarket chain heads to Windermere

A NATIONAL supermarket chain is set to move into a Lake District town.

Morrison’s will soon open a store in Windermere – one of the most popular visitor destinations in the region.

The scheme has sparked concern among nearby residents who claim the development will worsen traffic while car park floodlights impact on their homes.

But national park planning bosses this week claimed they were powerless to stop the giant firm from going ahead with its plan.

Speaking at a development control meeting at Lake District National Park Authority headquarters on Wednesday, David McGowan, head of planning, explained retail use was already permitted at the premises.

“A shop is a shop is a shop,” he said.

“We might have reservations about the implications of a new user taking over this particular building but we may not consider them.

“We are not being asked to decide whether or not we feel it’s acceptable to have a new supermarket in Windermere, but simply to decide whether to allow some minor alterations to the frontage of this building.”

Members of the development control committee agreed to allow some signage and minor alterations – including sliding doors – to go ahead.

The supermarket will open every day and offer 10 customer car parking spaces at the rear of the property.

But development control committee members imposed a condition that lighting in the car park must be shut down between 9pm and 7am to ensure residents living in neighbouring properties are not affected.

National park representative John Hayton said: “This is obviously something that we don’t like but the premises are there and we have just got to get on with it.

“There’s something to be said for the lighting, however, so I personally would like to see the car park closed when they turn out the lights.”

Another committee member, Vivienne Rees, agreed.

She said: “In other towns and urban areas they might not mind having lighting on until the early hours.

“But Windermere is not a city and it’s certainly not appropriate here.”

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