SPALDING businessman Sam Kandola hopes it will be fourth time lucky as he bids to put a village store on the site of an old garage sales and workshop building at Cowbit.
Mr Kandola runs Premier general stores in Pennygate, Spalding, and at Little London and says his venture at Moulton Chapel Road will create ten jobs if planners give it the go ahead.
With soaring petrol and diesel prices, Mr Kandola believes his grocery store will help residents because they won’t have to drive to supermarkets in Spalding – and it will reduce people’s carbon footprints.
He’s also going to devote part of the site to ten free allotments for local residents.
The old garage lies just off a roundabout on the A16 and falls in the parish of Weston.
Weston Parish Council has objected to the grocery store plans as it did to a similar application last year.
In a formal response to the planning authority, South Holland District Council, Weston parish clerk Susan Wilson says: “The parish council wish to restate their objections that it would create a roadside establishment causing an unacceptable increase in traffic movements close to a busy junction.”
But Mr Kandola says the road layout is very similar to the A16 roundabout in Spalding where the council gave consent for McDonald’s and a petrol filling station – and those businesses generate far more traffic than his business is likely to.
Mr Kandola has spent more than £12,000 clearing rubbish from the application site to make it more acceptable.
The businessman has been trying to develop the garage for two years. For a short time he had a caravan there and sold groceries – promising customers that he would have any grocery item they couldn’t find by the next day. He closed the caravan grocery sales after planning permission was refused.
Mr Kandola says car boot sales are regularly held on the eight-acre site and they never cause traffic problems.
He has canvassed local opinion and says there is a great deal of support for the plan.
One supporter, Spalding resident Paul Royce, has written to the council saying the proposed shop will be “one of the best things for the local people and the public who are passing through”.
An objection has been put in by the owners of Thorpe’s Garage, of Barrier Bank, Cowbit, which has a retail outlet just over half-a-mile away.
Last year’s application was refused by the council in July. Reasons for refusal included the site was in open countryside, the development would harm residential amenity and people living close by would have to walk on the road because there are no footpaths.