Apr 19 2011 By Jack Griffith
An artist impression of the proposed Asda superstore in Hayes
ASDA'S plans to build a superstore in Hayes has moved one step closer to becoming reality, after developers submitted plans.
The British Steel Pension Fund (BSPF), landowners of the Westlands 3 site in North Hyde Road, submitted their application for 8000 square-metre store earlier this month, with the public consultation starting last Friday (April 15).
A petrol station, a car park with 420 spaces, and industrial units behind the supermarket also feature in the proposals.
Around 400 full- and part-time jobs will be created, 100 more than initially predicted, with a further 100 positions to be filled in the commercial units.
In the past, the chain has partnered up with Jobcentre plus when recruiting for new stores, and Chris Martin, Asda's senior property communications manager, said that they would be seeking to employ local people.
"We have had some very helpful discussions with Uxbridge College about how we would be able to do this should the proposals for the site be approved. There was strong support for Asda coming to Hayes and providing competition to the out-of-town supermarkets."
More than 2,000 people, from residents and community groups to business owners, had their say on the first drafts, and hundreds turned up for a series of exhibition events held in January.
A BSPF spokesman added: "We believe that we have been able to improve the scheme in a number of respects, and we thank local people for the insight that they have been willing to share with us. We are committed to taking forward these plans and look forward to the Council’s consideration of the application."
There is a heavy emphasis on establishing strong links with the town, and a main entrance at the Station Road/North Hyde Road corner is one of the amendments made for the final drafts.
Drivers would enter the site via Millington Road, and the junctions at North Hyde Road, Station Road and Millington Road will be altered to improve access and manage anticipated traffic impacts. The walkways surrounding the store would also be widened and upgraded.
Aside from concerns about congestion, reaction to the proposals has been largely positive, with many feeling it would attract other businesses to the area, and provide more choice for shoppers.
A survey conducted by BSPF found that 93 per cent of respondents travelled out of the centre to get their groceries, and this is being touted as an opportunity to claw back a significant portion of that lost trade.
The site, which has been empty for the past two years, is located near to Hayes and Harlington rail station and less than half a kilometre from the town centre, and eight bus routes operate in the vicinity.
Residents have until May 6 to submit their thoughts on the application, and a decision is due to be made in July.
Residents can view the proposals in the 'planning' section of the council's website, application number 32157/APP/2011/872.
Do you want to see an Asda superstore in Hayes? Post your comments on our Hayes community site.