New retail development planned for Ammanford
Richard Youle, local democracy reporter
A new Aldi and Greggs are among the companies said to be interested in a new development planned in Carmarthenshire.
Family-run building firm TRJ Ltd wants to redevelop its yard at Betws Industrial Park, Foundry Road, Ammanford, into a new retail and food and drink area.
It plans to submit a formal planning application to Carmarthenshire Council following a pre-application consultation, which ends on June 7.
Documents published by agents Asbri Planning about the scheme said Aldi and retailer B&M were keen to occupy the two proposed store units at the site, with Greggs interested in one of two fast food units. The B&M store would include a garden centre.
Around 280 parking spaces are proposed, along with a new section of pavement and cycle path which would extend to the rear of the development and across the River Amman to Betws Park.
According to a planning statement, the development would lead to the creation of some 105 full and part-time jobs, transform “an eyesore” at a prominent gateway to the town, and safeguard current and future jobs at TRJ.
“Its redevelopment as proposed would significantly improve the entrance to Ammanford from this direction, allowing TRJ to relocate their operation to land they control on the former Betws coal mine site, a less conspicuous location,” it said.
A large retail store and petrol station at the Foundry Road site, which is in a designated flood zone, was planned a decade ago. The council turned it down for reasons including highway and flood risk impacts. Asbri Planning said it considered that the current proposal, which includes a flood consequence assessment, had addressed these concerns.
A retail impact assessment has also been carried out. Ammanford already has a Lidl and Tesco store, and a small Co-op.
The retail assessment said Aldi and B&M would retain their stores at Cross Hands, around five miles away, and that the planned Foundry Road development would give Ammanford residents more choices.
“In light of this, it is considered that the development proposed will significantly reduce shopping trips, whilst also increasing the potential for linked shopping trips with Ammanford town centre, as more residents chose to shop locally,” it said.
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