I had to laugh at another article that had surfaced in the Swindon Advertiser concerning the former Three Tuns Pub in Wroughton.
Having been a pub (and thus a licensed premises) for around a century, several residents have been attempting to thwart Morrisons' plans to convert the derelict building into one of their new 'M' Local concept stores. I'm not entirely sure what planet the residents were communicating from at the time, but I find it bizarre that an attempt was made to block an application for a licence at a site that was formerly a licensed premises.
A second article in the Adver indicates that Councillor John Newman intends on trying to block the development via the council's planning route, however I do have to ask, who is Mr Newman representing here? While there are already two small supermarkets in Wroughton (the Co-operative and a Tesco Express), neither provide particularly good value, with the choice and service in the Tesco being rather abysmal. On Sunday I had the pleasure of visiting the 'M' Local on the High Street in Marlborough, and I have to say, what a pleasure it was to shop there. While not particularly large, the choice was very good with a keen focus on fresh food; something both the Co-operative and Tesco in Wroughton appear to struggle with.
I take on board nearby residents' concerns about the lighting seeping onto neighbouring properties, but with the right choice of lamps and sensible planning, these issues are not insurmountable. Indeed, looking at the planning application to Swindon Council, a proper report was commissioned to establish the affect of the lighting on nearby residents and what measures are to be put in place to limit or prevent any nuisance to others.
I warmly welcome Morrisons' setting up shop in Wroughton for the following reasons: (a) in brings back to life a derelict building that is in needs of some urgent TLC; (b) Tesco has too strong a hold on the small shop market, and I hope that Morrisons will shake up the market and add something new to the mix; (c) it spreads commerce around the village so that all the focus isn't on the Ellendune Shopping Area and the area around Haskin's Garage; (d) it will help focus The Co-operative on delivering better value.
On this particular matter, I'm with Morrisons' and firmly against Councillor Newman's point of view here.