Shoppers welcome plans for Asda store in Longton
SHOPPERS have welcomed plans for a new supermarket amid claims Tesco has a "monopoly" in the Potteries.
Proposals have been drawn up for a large Asda at the former Somerfield site in Spring Garden Road, Longton, which would create up to 400 jobs.
The regeneration scheme would include covered parking, a cafe, two additional industrial units and a medical centre.
Developer Barlows Holdings Ltd will submit a planning application in the coming weeks.
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Residents were shown the proposed scheme at a public consultation event at Longton Library at the weekend.
Oliver Jones, spokesman for Asda, said: "The response from the public has been overwhelmingly positive.
"This is a tired site in need of development and at the moment Tesco is massively overtrading.
"They have a strong monopoly of trade in the area and our Asda store will offer something different.
"We've always wanted to have a store in the Longton area. It will be 45,000 sq ft, about 10 per cent smaller than the Wolstanton store, but stock everything we sell.
"Highways improvements at the Lightwood Road, Spring Garden Road roundabout will be made – it is already due to reach its capacity in the near future and needs upgrading. It will become traffic light-controlled."
The store would be accessed from Lightwood Road. Parking at the site would be free or voucher controlled, with the money claimed back in store.
There's a Tesco Extra store in Baths Road, Longton, and the chain opened a store in Hanley last year. Tesco is also believed to be interested in taking over the former Spode site in Stoke.
Shopper Elaine Kelly, aged 61, from Keble Way, Blurton, said: "It would be nice to have a bit of competition.
"The traffic getting to Tesco is a nightmare sometimes and I think their cafe is rubbish. People are desperate for jobs and I'm so glad to see this will create so many."
Asda surveyed 1,000 people in Longton and 94 per cent wanted to see the disused Somerfield site brought back to use and 75 per cent wanted greater shopping choice.