Chamber discusses new retail park at meeting

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THERE was some opposition to the proposed Cromwell Road Retail Park and Tesco Extra development at the annual Wisbech and District Chamber of Trade AGM on Monday evening.

Following a presentation by development director Jonathan Clogg, some business owners, including David Williams, from GW Franks, voiced their concerns that the development would pull even more shoppers from the already-suffering town centre.

Christina Purcell, from Holiday With Us, and Oliver Tookman, from Robert Goddard, spoke in favour of the development, but added money needs to be put into improving the town centre to make it more attractive for shoppers.

Chamber president Kevin Smith said: “We need to maximise the appeal of the town centre as a destination for shoppers. The Cromwell Road development thinks it can provide further appeal for shoppers to pick Wisbech instead of travelling further afield. There is a lot of concern, which I fully understand, but think if this development was planned for March, what affect that would have.”

Mr Smith also set out the Chamber’s objectives for the coming year.

It wants to encourage Fenland District Council to make provision for short stay car parking near the shops. It also wants to stop cars parking so close to shops and blocking pavements.

Litter is an issue and the Chamber would like Fenland council to start fining people for littering.

Mr Smith said they should open and maintain a working relationship with the Cromwell Road developers and also stress the importance of maintaining public transport links with the town centre.