Over the last few years, South Hams District Council has considered proposals to bring more shoppers to the market town of Ivybridge by developing the Leonards Road car park including a discount food store.
The Council's Project Team have explored the possibilities and options available to them and have consulted the Town Council, local businesses and residents. They can now fully brief the Council and ask for a decision on what happens next.
On 28 January 2021, South Hams Executive will discuss the potential £9 million investment for the project and decide whether to proceed further. Next steps will be the tender and detailed design phase of the project required before a planning application is made.
If approved, there will still be lots of work to do before the project gets a green light, and the Council feel that it is important to keep everyone informed of its progress. Therefore, the Council are encouraging all residents in the town and those who are interested in the project, to sign up for regular project email alerts.
Cllr Hilary Bastone, South Hams Executive Member for Enterprise, said: "This is a really exciting opportunity for Ivybridge. It has never been more important for us to support our market towns. This project could be really important in reinvigorating Ivybridge and creating a thriving town centre.
"The last time we discussed this project at Executive, we focused on the completion of a number of key exploratory work streams. This time we will be discussing the technical and economic viability of the project and considering whether it will succeed in regenerating Ivybridge town centre.
"We will also review the risks involved and what needs to be considered when deciding whether to continue further with this project.
"I welcome the debate we will have next Thursday and look forward to discussing this opportunity with the rest of the Executive."
It is estimated that an Aldi investment in this project would be £21 million over the 25 years. This is in addition to the initial construction costs invested by the Council. The store could create 30-40 jobs and attract an extra 100 shoppers at any one time, who in turn can take advantage of the wider town Ivybridge offer, including the leisure centre and high street.
Pat White, Ivybridge Chamber of Commerce Chairman said: "All retail small businesses face huge uncertainties at the moment. The regeneration project at Ivybridge when it gets delivered should help re- balance lost footfall from Tesco at Lee Mill. It will rejuvenate Ivybridge town for the benefit of businesses and the local economy."
Howard Roddis, LCP Properties (Glanvilles Mill) added: "We're pleased to see the high street boosted with a new Aldi store, which will also help to bring additional footfall to Fore Street in Ivybridge and Glanvilles Mill. At a time when regional shopping centres are struggling, it is good news for both shoppers and the local community to have a variety of offers on their doorstep."
Cllr Hilary Bastone added: "We know from our consultations that a discount food store is very much wanted in the town and there are many people keen to see this project happen.
"If this project does move forward to the next stage, we would like to make sure that the people of Ivybridge are kept fully informed. I would encourage everyone who is interested in this project to sign up for email alerts.
"There are still hurdles to overcome, including the formal planning process, so it is really important to us that we continue talking with the town and discussing this project."
Sign up for Ivybridge Regeneration email alerts - this can be done from the Council's homepage at www.southhams.gov.uk
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The Council Report for Thursday can be found here.