Asda plan support was ‘overwhelming’

Artist's impression of Asda Buckingham
Artist's impression of Asda Buckingham
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A new Asda store for Buckingham could be open by next September, creating 160 jobs, if plans get the go-ahead.

Following overwhelming public support shown at a consultation exhibition at Buckingham Community Centre and the Buckingham Hotel last month, Asda is hoping to submit its proposal for a neighbourhood store on the former Focus site on Buckingham ring road by the end of this year.

About 400 residents of Buckingham and the surrounding villages attended the exhibitions.

People were asked to answer “Yes” or “No” to two statements – “I support Asda’s development proposals,” and “I welcome the increase in shopping choice and competition for local residents.”

More than 99 per cent of people attending the events agreed with both statements.

Reasons for supporting the plans included bringing a redundant unit back to economic life and creating jobs, as well as providing competition to Tesco.

Sixty per cent of people asked indicated they would be interested in working there.

Asda spokesman Oliver Jones said: “To say that we were overwhelmed with the support for this proposal would be an understatement. We’ve never known such strong and consistent support for a planning proposal.”

Chairman of the Buckingham Traders’ Association, Tryph Foster, said the association had not yet discussed the matter.

But speaking personally, she said: “I think it’s a good thing if it draws more people into Buckingham. A lot of people do travel out of town to Asda in Milton Keynes to do their shopping.”