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Morrisons defends South Grove development as major job creator
Morrisons has spoken out in defence of its proposals to build a new town centre store, amidst claims it is too large for the location and would harm independent traders.
The supermarket giant say the 34-metre-high development , including a new superstore and 248 flats on the council-owned South Grove site, Walthamstow, will create 450 new jobs.
The company said it typically employs 75 per cent of new staff from the immediate local area and in similar schemes in London the majority of jobs have gone to people who were long-term unemployed.
A spokeswoman from Morrisons said today: “We have worked hard with the local authority and GLA to ensure the South Grove scheme is of high quality, connects well with the town centre and therefore helps boost trade in Walthamstow.
“We are confident this development will deliver significant improvements to the South Grove site and bring many long-term benefits to the local community.”
But community organisations have raised a number of serious concerns over the proposal.
Obections to the scheme have been sent to council leader Chris Robbins.by the Cleveland Park Residents Association, which represents about 200 homes near the site.
They said the plans for an “out-of-town”style development were “not good enough” and chairwoman, Caramel Quin, 41, likened the proposed development to the Titanic in scale, adding, “we really do believe that, in their current form, these plans for South Grove will be a disaster for Walthamstow.”
A spokeswoman for Morrisons said they have reduced the scheme by three storeys as a result of their consultations with the public and the local authority.
She said: “We have reduced its height quite considerably, introduced setbacks throughout the scheme and continue to work with the local authority to refine the scheme design.”
Other objections from The Waltham Forest Cycling Campaign said, at 73,000 sq ft, the superstore would be the largest Morrisons in the country -and much bigger than usual out-of-town supermarkets.
Morrisons say this is incorrect and it would, in fact, be one of their “larger medium-sized stores” with other stores measuring up to 100,000 sq ft.
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