ASDA: why we had to pull out of Exmouth'

PUBLISHED: 09:33 12 February 2009 | UPDATED: 10:28 10 June 2010

ASDA explained this week why they had put a spanner in the works of Exmouth s redevelopment plans by withdrawing proposals for a new superstore.

ASDA explained this week why they had put a spanner in the works of Exmouth's redevelopment plans by withdrawing proposals for a new superstore.

The supermarket giants said they were "no longer in a position to continue with their current proposal" and were withdrawing, writes David Beasley.

ASDA, East Devon District Council and their partners had spent months developing the supermarket proposal - which also brought a basket of goodies, including a new sports centre and pool, visitor centre and library.

But, over that time, ASDA say they had to take into account the views of many interested parties, resulting in changes.

And, in that time, the economic climate had "deteriorated" so much it had jeopardised the scheme's potential income from renting units.

Chris Marlow, ASDA's property communications manager, said; "We are incredibly disappointed...

"ASDA has been involved in this project for a long time... we have worked very hard to create a scheme that fulfils all of the aspirations of the local community... recent support for our proposal suggests that we have achieved this.

"The site is a complex and physically challenging one due to its estuary location, its proximity to the railway line and the number of elements we were hoping to include.

"These have substantially increased the forecasted build cost of the development.

"Regrettably, and despite our best efforts, we can no longer offset these costs against likely income from residential sales and future retail rents due to the current economic climate and the downturn in the property market.

"ASDA remain convinced that the local area would benefit from more supermarket choice and we will continue to look at opportunities to achieve this."

Councillor Peter Halse, EDDC's Portfolio Holder Economy, and Chairman of the Exmouth Regeneration Programme Board, said: "We will now have to let the dust settle and have a re-think about the future.

"The implications of this news are obviously far reaching.

"This is not the end of the road by any means, but it will take time to come up with alternative ideas and we will actively investigate other options.

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