AMBITIOUS plans for a new supermarket are back on the table.
A bid by Manchester-based Capital & Centric for a store at the former Griflex factory on the Vauxhall Industrial Estate, between Ruabon and Johnstown, will come under the spotlight on Monday.
The application, which could create more than 250 jobs if given the go-ahead, has been recommended for approval by planning officers at Wrexham Council.
A report reads: “The district centres of Rhos, Ruabon and Cefn have a fairly limited role as main food shopping designations.
“The popularity of Tesco in Cefn Mawr suggests that local residents are prepared to do their main food shopping locally if an appropriately sized shop is provided.
“The development could create up to 164 jobs in the store itself. In addition to these there will also be construction jobs whilst the development is being built.”
The proposed supermarket first came before Wrexham Council’s planning committee last July, but was deferred while developers amended their plans.
More than 50 people have submitted letters of support, and Ruabon Community Council has also backed the plans.
The report adds: “Ruabon is a large village and has increased over the years due to several housing developments.
“The proposed food store would increase and improve shopping choices for Ruabon residents and would provide an increase in accessible shopping opportunities for those who find the shops in Ruabon difficult to access.”
Following comments raised during the consultation, Capital and Centric Plc’s plans also include improvements to the junction onto Ruabon Road to ensure there is no detrimental effect on local traffic flows.
Adam Higgins, director at Capital & Centric Plc said: “There is clearly a real need for a supermarket to service the people of Rhos, Johnstown, Penycae and Ruabon because for years they have had to travel to other towns such as Wrexham to do their weekly shop.
“The support for a foodstore in this location at public consultation was unprecedented and the planning officer’s report also bears this out. It is very unusual to find such a large catchment population without an appropriately sized store to service the community.”
David Bithell, Johnstown Councillor said: “There were very few objections to the proposals and any issues that were highlighted have now been attended to. I have followed the progress of this application closely and worked very hard with local businesses and constituents to ensure that concerns raised have been addressed.
“In difficult economic times, it is fantastic that we have attracted this investment into our area.”
But objectors – including The Flint Group UK, who own a nearby unit – say that buildin g a supermarket on an industrial estate is inappropriate.
There are also concerns about the increased HGV movements and the threat to existing local shops.
It is not yet known which supermarket would be likely to move into the premises, but Mr Higgins said previously he anticipates one of Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s or Morrisons moving onto the site.
l The plans will be discussed by Wrexham Council’s planning committee at the Guildhall on Monday at 6.30pm.