RESIDENTS worried about a massive new Marks & Spencer on their doorstep have voiced their concerns directly to store bosses.
Stanney Oaks Community Action Group, which uses the subtitle ‘We Live Here’, includes people completely for, totally against or who have mixed feelings about the multi-million-pound development.
Plans were submitted to the borough council in June by the developers, Simons Developments, for a two-storey store with decked surface car parking and new access road at land off Longlooms Road.
If M&S gets the go-ahead, it will see the creation of 500 jobs. The company’s existing store on the nearby Coliseum and its staff will transfer over.
The development – twice the size of the town’s Asda store – would be M&S’s largest investment in a British store in 15 years.
Mandy Parker, action group chairman and a Stanney Oaks resident, said: “We were formed not to oppose the application totally, because I don’t think that’s possible, but we want people to be aware of it.
“There are issues about safety on our roads, with the store turning our estate into a rat-run, felling protected trees, community land being used for staff parking and the small size of the roundabout.”
The group is also worried about deliveries being made yards from homes, the safety of children, flooding of the development site and there being no buffer between homes and the store.
Mrs Parker added: “Unless all these things are taken into consideration and M&S resolves all these problems, then we would be opposed to the scheme.”
The group was formed in June after more than 100 people attended a meeting in Little Stanney Village Hall about M&S.
It has since produced a newsletter, knocked on the doors of all the 570 houses on the estate, and enlisted the help of borough councillor Linda Cooper (Con, Whitby).
A spokeswoman for Simons Developments said: “We and M&S thank the Action Group for their constructive comments.
“We have consulted widely within the local community and will continue to do so. We’ll work hard to address the issues raised with us, not least those relating to traffic in and around Cheshire Oaks.
“A range of solutions are being considered, which we will discuss in more detail with the Group at an appropriate time.”
She added: “We are determined to deliver a sustainable, flagship M&S store of which every citizen in Ellesmere Port can be proud. Cheshire Oaks has long provided investment and jobs which benefit the local area and we believe this development will create further jobs and investment which will greatly assist the local economy”