MANY in Holsworthy have been disappointed to hear that the old cattle market off Underlane would now be home to more residential housing instead of a much desired supermarket.
Outline planning permission has been granted to Hawksmeadow Properties (Holsworthy) Ltd for 45 homes to be built on the Old Cattle Market site on Underlane in Holsworthy.
It was previously hoped that the cattle market site could have been home to a Tesco superstore — however in 2014 the supermarket giant pulled out and left Holsworthy with an empty plot.
In the years that followed the town’s council approached numerous alternative stores, hoping to entice them in and bring more variety to the town. However, none were keen to take up the offer.
Following recent comments made by locals, the town’s Ward councillor on Torridge District Council, Jon Hutchings, issued some words of clarity.
Cllr Hutchings said: “Just a comment regarding extra supermarkets here in Holsworthy as its been mentioned several times! In 2019 I wrote (as I was the mayor at the time) to all the big supermarkets asking them if they would take a look at the old cattle market site. Many replied saying no, but Lidl did give an explanation.”
The head of property for Lidl at the time gave the following reasoning: “Thank you for getting in touch and showing support for Lidl.
“It is correct that I was approach by several developers and individuals about this site.
“Unfortunately as you point out the population figure is too low to make our business model work.
“When we evaluate sites we always include a catchment around the town to ascertain the town’s potential.
“We use a sophisticated acquisition tool and it shows the population within seven miles of Holsworthy, including of the town itself, is below 10,000.
“Disregarding the road network and simply drawing a circle of seven mile radius around Holsworthy this number only rises slightly above 10,000.
“Although using a wide radius these population figures are still too low for our business model to work. In addition, both seven mile scenarios are accounting for residents close to Bude, therefore we would have to incorporate a loss of trade at our store in Bude in the site appraisal.
“Unfortunately for these reasons I cannot revisit this site as a viable location.”
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