Epworth supermarket plans are very ‘hot topic’

Anne Tame, 70, of Fieldside, Epworth.
Anne Tame, 70, of Fieldside, Epworth.

PLANS for a new supermarket at Epworth are still tightly under wraps, as interest in the scheme grows within the town.

The company behind the project, Tillbridge Developments, claims that all will be revealed at an upcoming exhibition next month, and urges everyone with an interest to go along to two consultation sessions. The plans are the main subject of discussion among Epworth traders and residents, and we tried to gain a general concensus on whether such a development could be good or bad for the town.

There was a predominantly negative response, with many fearing local shopkeepers could lose out heavily as a result of a new supermarket.

Others feared the town could lose its quaint character, and should stay exactly as it is.

But all were keen to know which company would be coming in, and where and when the plans are set to take shape.

The public consultation events about the full proposals including an accompanying sheltered housing scheme, on land off Belton Road, will take place on March 10 from 5.30pm to 9pm, and March 20 from 10am to 5pm, at Epworth’s Imperial Hall.

Company spokesman Luke Pickering said: “We can give no further details until these events take place. But we want everyone to come and have a look at the plans, and ask any questions. There will be information about job opportunities too.”

What shoppers say:

Travel agent Helen Stimson, 45, of High Street, Epworth, said: “Epworth is known and well-regarded for its small independent businesses and in my opinion it should stay that way. A new supermarket would be bound to affect the High Street, in a bad way.

“I don’t see the need for it. You can get everything you want in Epworth town centre. Let’s keep it as it is.”

Ann Tame, 70, of Fieldside, Epworth, said: “I wouldn’t want Epworth businesses to lose any trade, but in some respects I would like a new supermarket.

“There are certain brands of goods you can’t buy here and so have to make a trip to town. If a new supermarket here would save me a journey then that would be a good thing. New jobs would be a good thing too. In essence I would be happy to see one.”

Grandmother Lyn Croot, 60, of Rookery Croft, Epworth, said: “I’m not against progress but a supermarket does seem a very big jump for Epworth.

“I will fight against it as I’m sure it would threaten the viability of small shops that, at present, are never empty. I’ll be interested to see the plans.”

Young mum Carey Winnett, 35, of Waterhall, Epworth, said: “I’m very much against any such development.

“I don’t believe it’s needed, I think it would spoil the nature of the village, and then there’s the traffic situation....there’s too much congestion as it is.”