TRAFFIC using the car park of the new Tesco in Bewdley will create “very serious safety issues” according to the town’s council.
The local authority fears vehicles pulling in and out of the supermarket, which is currently being developed at the Angel Inn building on Load Street, will put pedestrians at risk.
Wyre Forest District Council’s planning committee, which met on Tuesday, August 12, was used by Bewdley Town Council as a platform to voice its concerns.
Independent Community and Health Concern councillor Calne Edginton-White, who attended the debate on behalf of the town body, said: “We will feel disappointed if the district council does not engage with the developer and with the highway authority to address some very serious safety issues if vehicles are going to be dashing in and out of the car park.”
She added the parking arrangements could have an “adverse effect on the public footpath” and questioned whether the road could accommodate additional congestion.
District councillor, Liberal Fran Oborski, chairman of the planning committee, explained, however, that traffic issues were not relevant to the applications before it and the authority did not have responsibility for discussing them.
The committee had met to decide on six applications by Tesco relating to the installation of signage, bollards, a cash machine and air conditioning units and therefore parking was not a pertinent consideration.
All of the supermarket’s proposals were approved, with Bewdley Town Council’s request that the bollards be painted black in keeping with the street furniture of the historic quayside also accepted.
Mayor of Bewdley Derek Killingworth has expressed his own reservations about the car park.
He said: “It is an accident waiting to happen and my fear is the town will pay dearly to obtain a cheap bottle of milk.
“The car park entrance and exit are next to a bus stop used by children before and after school and people queue on the approach road for the fish and chips shop.
“While I agree Bewdley may need another convenience store there is also a real concern about the effect this new addition will have on other shops in the town.
“The last thing we want is businesses failing and premises left empty.”
Tesco corporate affairs manager Simon Petar said: “We are delighted that Wyre Forest District Council has granted permission for our proposed store.
“We have had a fantastic and positive response from the local community, who are looking forward to the store opening, the creation of approximately 20 jobs and a much-needed increase in choice.”