Food-ban covenant on proposed store site
A COVENANT preventing the selling of food may have to be lifted if plans for a new Morrisons store in Torquay are to go ahead.
Developers behind the 21,140sq ft project at the former DIY site in Babbacombe Road may need to get the 1984 restriction removed in addition to the usual planning permission.
Torbay Council says it is not currently in negotiations about removing the covenant.
The news comes as a public exhibition was held to show residents and businesses what is being proposed.
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Nick Kilby, spokesman for the project, said: "There was a remarkably positive reaction to it. Our feedback shows 86 per cent were in favour of development. There were people there who want a superstore but also those who just like Morrisons itself. There are definite indications that people would use it instead of travelling further away, then top up their shop locally."
Neighbouring Otter Nurseries last week said it will be staying put, but an artist impression for the new store does not include the garden centre and officials at the public meeting claimed they were looking for alternative premises. Otter Nurseries declined to comment.
The site would have room for 176 cars, some parking on where Otter Nurseries currently is. Addressing fears over the impact over additional transport, planners said there would be a 'moderate' increase with service vehicles themselves using a separate yard to the rear of the store.
Irene Yates was attending with her daughter Jude and raised concerns over another superstore for the town potentially taking trade away from shops.
Mrs Yates said: "There are too many supermarkets in Torbay. Then there is the traffic. It's just not cut out for a supermarket."
Resident John Bourne said "The reason the covenant was put there all that time ago was to protect Wellswood and Babbacombe from exactly this type of plan.
"If it wasn't for the covenant there would have been a food store there a long time ago. What else could they put in other than another DIY store?"