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Firm presses ahead with expansion plans
LEDBURY business Galebreaker is pressing ahead with its plans to move in the town despite a “disappointing” decision to refuse the Sainsbury’s superstore application for its existing site.
A planning application for the firm’s proposed move from the New Mills Industrial Estate to larger, purpose-built premises at a vacant site just off Bromyard Road has now been validated by Herefordshire Council.
However the move remains “completely linked” to Sainsbury’s, with the business needing the money from selling to the supermarket to enable it to move. Galebreaker, which supplies products for agriculture, is targeting 50 per cent growth over the next five years, potentially adding 10 new employees to its 37-strong workforce, and a move is essential to those plans.
Managing director Jeremy Scudamore said: “Despite the disappointing refusal of the Sainsbury’s application, we are continuing to progress with our application.
“Our public consultation last year showed that 94 per cent of respondents supported all or some of our relocation plans, and I would urge them to reinforce that support.
Approval of the plans would take us a step closer towards staying and growing in Ledbury.”
Sainsbury’s has confirmed it retains an interest in the New Mills site, but says it has still not decided what its next move will be after its proposals for a 30,000sq ft superstore were thrown out by county planners last month.
Meanwhile Tesco, which is still looking to improve its offering in Ledbury despite withdrawing plans for a superstore in Leadon Way at the 11th hour last November, says there is “no truth” in rumours that it has been eyeing up land off The Homend, near to its existing Orchard Lane store.
Spokesman Sophie Akokhia said: “There is no truth in that at all.
“We have always said that our existing store is 15 years old and that our customers have been asking for improved choice and a better shopping environment.
“Recently we have been looking at how we can improve the existing store to create a larger, better offering.
We are speaking with our board of directors about that at the moment, although we have not made a firm commitment to that option.”
She added that Tesco is not looking at any alternate sites in or around the town.