Worried by our empty shops

PUBLISHED: 15:59 08 November 2008 | UPDATED: 09:59 10 June 2010

I refer to the article headed Shops Needed" in your Journal of October 2, 2008. I note that a forum to bring businesses back to Exmouth and fill the town centre's empty shops is to be formed. According to the article, Steve Gizzard has received the backi

I refer to the article headed "Shops Needed" in your Journal of October 2, 2008.I note that a forum to bring businesses back to Exmouth and fill the town centre's empty shops is to be formed. According to the article, Steve Gizzard has received the backing of fellow members of the planning committee and has listed 30 vacant shops in the town centre.Being an Exmouth resident, I am also concerned about the number of shops that appear to be closing down and not being replaced by other retailers.Apart from the economic climate, which does contribute to this problem, I would like to draw the council's attention to fact that they are now proposing, and effectively encouraging, ASDA to develop one of their very large stores on the estuary site. ASDA, as one knows, does sell a variety of goods, ranging from food to clothing to spectacles etc, and I am wondering how the council envisage the new ASDA store will affect the remaining retailers in Exmouth. I can only believe local shops will not be able to compete with ASDA and we will, therefore, see more shops closing once the development is up and running. I also understand the council is proposing to permit ASDA to develop some shops adjoining their development, which will again intensify the competition for the town centre and the shops that we wish to see in the town centre.I am a firm believer that we do need another supermarket in the town, but it must be in the town centre and not the other side of the main access route into the town centre.I cannot believe anyone shopping in ASDA would do any more than fill their boot up and drive home. They will not stop and walk across the road to visit other shops, particularly if they can buy everything they need in the superstore.John Daborn,11 Featherbed Lane, Exmouth.

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