Superstore set for Bala


Helen Davies

PLANS have been revealed for an out-of-town supermarket in Bala.

The Co-operative has joined forces with property developers, Holland’s Limited, to promote the development of a new 10,000 sq ft food store on land at the Bala Enterprise Park.

Bala already has a Co-op convenience store on the High Street and the company says this will continue trading after the new food store opens.

The new supermarket will be larger than the existing store, offer a wider range of goods and services and have a larger customer car park.

A planning application has yet to be submitted to Snowdonia National Park Authority, but the company has revealed an artist’s impression of what the new supermarket could look like if approved.

“We have been operating in the heart of Welsh communities for many years, and we are committed to providing a quality service to local people,” said Chris Moss, acquisition manager for the Co-operative Food in North Wales.

“Having identified an opportunity to improve our offering in Bala, we are hopeful that our plans will be approved so we can put the wheels in motion to make this enhanced store a reality.”

The company says the new store will enable the residents of Bala to undertake more of their main food shopping trips in Bala, rather than having to travel long distances to large supermarkets outside the town.

If the development is approved by the Snowdonia National Park Authority, it is expected to open in 2014.

Bala Enterprise Park is an industrial estate just outside the town located between the B4391 and the Tryweryn river.

Other tenants on the park include Berwyn Bakery Ltd, Environment Agency Wales and Royal Mail.

A spokeswoman for the Co-operative said: “The planning application is currently being prepared but has not been submitted as of yet.

“The project represents significant investment in the town but I’m afraid I don’t have a figure at this stage, likewise there will certainly be jobs created but it is too early to specify how many.”

A similar application for a 20,000 supermarket in nearby Llangollen divided the town last year.

Some residents there were in favour of the store, praising the jobs it will bring to the town.

But others raised concerns it would damage town centre trade.

Bala councillor Dilwyn Morgan said: “I will be pressing for a full consultation with the local community.

“It’s early days at the moment,” he added.

Bala Tourism Association met this week to discuss the proposal, but have decided to reserve judgment until they have seen the detailed planning application.

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