Traffic and safety concerns behind year delay over whether to approve new Co-op site, retail units, take-away and car park in Sutton

PUBLISHED: 17:32 06 November 2017 | UPDATED: 17:42 06 November 2017

This is how the Co-op convenience store will look if plans to build it in Sutton are approved

This is how the Co-op convenience store will look if plans to build it in Sutton are approved

Archant

A year after plans were put forward to build a Co-op site, retail units, take-away and car park in Sutton, concerns about traffic, safety and impact on local businesses have led to councillors not being able to reach a decision.

This is how the Co-op convenience store will look if plans to build it in Sutton are approved This is how the Co-op convenience store will look if plans to build it in Sutton are approved

A year after plans were put forward to build a Co-op store, retail units, a take-away and car park in Sutton, concerns about traffic, safety and impact on local businesses a decision is still awaited from East Cambs Council.

The application by Central England Co-operative to develop 0.69 acres of land east of Sutton-in-the-isle on the junction between the A142 and B1381 Ely Road was submitted to East Cambridgeshire District Council in November 2016.

This is how the Co-op convenience store will look if plans to build it in Sutton are approved This is how the Co-op convenience store will look if plans to build it in Sutton are approved

The design and access report believes the store would be ‘highly accessible’ given there are good local bus services.

The Co-op says the site also close to housing, has good footpaths nearby and is easy to get to by cycle.

This is how the Co-op convenience store will look if plans to build it in Sutton are approved This is how the Co-op convenience store will look if plans to build it in Sutton are approved

However, Sutton Parish Council raised concerns about the safety of pedestrians and cyclists if the development is approved.

The parish council told East Cambs planners that “pedestrians using the footpath from the village centre to the proposed site do not have a completed footpath on both sides of the road.

“The parish council would like to see this connected. “Also, cyclists using the existing shared use path would have to use the crossing point as per proposed plans.

“If the footpath is connected as suggested this could be a shared use path which would enable safe use for all and would alleviate having to cross the B1381.”

Resident Chris Drury said: “The site is on an unsuitable position and will create further serious congestion on the roads close by. The entry road into Sutton from the A142 is already busy.

“Entry to the site from Sutton requires vehicles to cross the highway and likely to create more congestion and is a safety hazard. Exiting the site also creates similar problems.”

Other residents also wondered if the new store would detract from local shops.

Yvonne Hill said: “There are already facilities in the village to cater for shopping, with the local shop providing most essentials that any family would need and a delicatessen providing refreshments and a place for people to gather for a chat.

“Both of these businesses would suffer as well as increased traffic flow.”

Mike Child, of Sutton, added that the proposal would “significantly detract from the character and appearance of the village.

“The proposal would introduce an urbanising form of development that would be highly visible on the approach to the village and would materially harm the rural character and appearance of this key entrance point.

“Other land adjoining the roundabout has already been developed, which means that this remaining field has greater significance.”

East Cambs planners are still collating information before coming to a decision.

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