Ivybridge Town Council recently voted unanimously to support, in principle, the development of an Aldi supermarket in Ivybridge town centre.
Paul Furlong, Chair of South Hams Labour Party, said in a statement:
This is good news for the many residents of Ivybridge and its surrounding area who are suffering the effects of low wages, high housing costs and lack of investment in the town. The plan is also projected to bring c.30 new jobs into the town – further good news.
We now urge the Town Council and South Hams District Council to focus on a genuine regeneration of Ivybridge town centre which needs to include: a sustainable solution to the dilapidated bridges across the river, the re-siting of the skate park, the provision of appropriate walking and cycling routes into the centre alongside adequate car-parking. Ivybridge also needs a plan to ensure the Glanville’s Mill and Fore Street businesses thrive rather than fail when the Aldi arrives.
A new store in the town centre will inevitably attract more road traffic and the town, bringing congestion and pollution. Residents must not be allowed to suffer because of this. Ivybridge needs two developments in this area:
First, a park and ride facility – which should not be hard to achieve, at least on the eastern side of the town.
Second, an access to the A38 east of the rugby club, a need that has been shunned over time by successive national and local administrations. The three local councils (Ivybridge, South Hams and Devon County) now need to work together with the Highways Agency to make this a reality.
The news follows the ongoing construction of a new Aldi store in neighbouring Plympton, also part of the South West Devon constituency, situated on what was previously part of the Chaplins car park.
At a time when many jobs are being placed at risk of redundancy, new employment opportunities, combined with an increase in consumer choice, is to be welcomed. However, we should be careful not to lose sight of the side-effects that these types of developments can inflict such as increases in local traffic or the disruption to pre-existing facilities on the new development site – ensuring appropriate steps are taken to mitigate any negative effects of these, otherwise positive, plans on both local residents and the environment.
Said Sam Hay, Communications Officer for South West Devon Labour Party.