The wallingford and Cholsey district councillors met with a number of representatives from Morrison’s on Tuesday to discuss the progress of their application.
We were briefed on a number of issues such as Environment Agency concerns around the impact of the petrol tanks on the water table and the proposed bus service link to the town centre.
As I have said before I support this application and I have always said Wallingford should have a cheaper supermarket, but I am concerned at the impact that the new store might have on the town centre shops.
I understand that the store will sell 20% non food items, despite the earlier claims of being a “fresh” branded store that sells mainly food. My particular concern is for the book shop. I asked if they will sell books and I got an ambiguous “we will have a book offer” response.
Having spoken to Ali at Wallingford Bookshop I understand that “top twenty” paperbacks are a major part of her bread and butter and she is, quite rightly, concerned that the advent of Morrison’s is just another aspect of death by a thousand cuts.
I understand that the Retail Impact Assessment commissioned by SODC suggests that the impact of the new supermarket will be much greater than Morrison’s are prepared to accept.