Tuesday, 09 February 2016

Challenge to come up with Ulverston supermarket alternative

CAMPAIGNERS against a new supermarket have challenged the public to come up with alternative uses for the site.

Anti-supermarket campaign group, Keep Ulverston Special, has launched a competition in a bid to get people to submit alternative ideas for the development of Robinson’s old brewery site.

Robinson’s developers have submitted an application for a “high-end” superstore which is due to go before planning chiefs in October.

Campaign group chairman Colin Pickthall said: “We are realistic about this problem. We know the site has to be developed, but believe it should be done in a way which enhances the character of the town, rather than turn it into a supermarket-dominated clone town.

“We have many ideas of our own about alternatives, but recognise there are hundreds of people out there, not just Ulverstonians, who have knowledge and expertise which we want to tap.

“So we are offering prizes for the most attractive plans that we can put as alternatives to the council and Mr Robinson.

“We want to be as positive as possible in our campaign.”

Mr Pickthall said people were invited to consider every possible development, from housing to a hotel, from a small commercial development to a heritage centre and from leisure facilities to offices – or even a mixed development.

There are categories for under-16s and over-16s with £10 and £25 cash prizes available in each.

Prizes will also be donated by some of the town’s campaigning traders.

Mr Pickthall said: “We are sometimes accused of being nimbys. This is true because we regard Ulverston as our backyard, which collectively we wish to keep and preserve as a unique home we do not wish to become a clone town, nor a ghost town. Competitors can help us achieve this.”

Full competition information is available on the campaign website www.keepulverstonspecial.co.uk, or from Gillam’s Tea Room and Working Class Heroes in Market Street.

The website is linked to an online petition against the supermarket and yesterday had 145 signatures.

A separate paper petition, with around 500 signatures so far, is available to sign on a market stall in Ulverston each Saturday and a growing number of businesses are hosting petitions. Meanwhile, the campaigners have conducted a survey of the town centre and concluded 57 per cent of independent retailers would be directly threatened by the supermarket.

Eighty-one retailers were surveyed and the campaigners said 46 would be directly threatened, 10 possibly threatened (12 per cent) and 26 not threatened (32 per cent).

Ulverston also has seven independent cafés and the campaigners said each would be in competition with the café proposed for the supermarket.

Writer Paul Kingsnorth, the campaign member who carried out the survey, said the findings may not be 100 per cent accurate because Robinson’s has yet to reveal which products the supermarket would sell.

Mr Kingsnorth said: “But what is clear, for the developer to claim there will only be a very small impact on the town centre shops is a complete nonsense and that’s borne out by the survey we’ve done and evidence that’s coming in from everywhere else.”

Have your say

I live in Kirkby. We have a (very good) corner shop. For our 'weekly shop' we have a 20 mile round trip to Barrow and accept that this is a small price to pay for living in such a lovely spot, as, I expect, do residents of Grizebeck, Stainton, Newton, Gleaston and other areas who manage to survive without a supermarket on their doorsteps.
Ulverston, though obviously much bigger, is also a lovely spot and it already has a Tesco, a Co-op and a very fine Booth's.
Why can't its residents count their blessings and get behind the 'Keep Ulverston Special' campaign?

Posted by Gill Tennant on 9 August 2011 at 19:15

Totally agree with Basils comment about the propensity of Ulverston traders to shut up shop too soon.

Having working at one of the towns major employers, it was always the case, that at 5 o'clock, when you finished work, by the time you got to town, 15 mins later, very few of the shops still remained open. That was the case 40 years ago, and is the case now. So if the towns shop-keepers couldn't, and, still can't support their own towns people, why expect them to put themselves out for visitors.

Posted by Sybil on 8 August 2011 at 21:04

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