SAVE NEWPORT CAMPAIGN REFOCUSES AND REINVESTS EFFORT IN NEW PARTNERSHIPS

The Save Newport Campaign (SNC) which was formed in August 2011 primarily to fight the then proposed Sainsbury’s superstore on greenfield land off Station Road, will now move back from its active campaigning role in favour of Newport’s many local groups and organisations who came to together under the SNC banner continuing to lobby for future of the town.

Discussions are taking place with various groups to see if the SNC website, Facebook page, Twitter and other social media platforms could be utilised in the short term to provide information and details of events etc being held by such other groups and organisations until such time as a more structured media platform is available. A bid for funding for a designated website has been included in a Heritage Lottery Grant application submitted by the Town Team.

Cllr. Adrian Meredith, Patrick Beech in his role as Chairman of Newport Chamber of Commerce and David Parker as Chairman of Newport and District Civic Society, led the campaign group which was ultimately successful in defeating the plans for the hypermarket and in raising wider public debate on issues relevant to the future development of the town.

Patrick Beech commented:

“SNC managed to get for the town what a Planning Inspector had said, back in 2010, was needed for Newport namely, a discount retailer. Unfortunately, we could not get the Aldi store to be on or near the High St., as we lost the most preferable site to yet more housing development. Now that everyone can see what is happening to the ‘big 4’ supermarkets, which we actually predicted in 2011, we were entirely justified in our opposition. A huge out of town superstore would have badly damaged the heart of the town “.

Cllr. Adrian Meredith said the campaign had succeeded in getting wide media coverage including on the BBC and ITV as well as the Daily Telegraph and the influential Grocer Magazine: “We managed to get interest and support from other communities around England who were – and still are – facing similar challenges. Residents really rose to the challenge’.

Some of the major future challenges for the town will be the strain on infrastructure and support services from the increasing population; such as health, education, utilities, parking and air pollution from increased traffic density. This is already beginning to show.

David Parker said “I would like to thank everyone in the town and villages who attended public meetings including Planning Committees in large numbers, wrote to Telford and Wrekin Council, lobbied our MP, wrote to the Prime Minister and many other actions to raise the profile of the opposition to the hypermarket. Organisations such as the Town Council, who supplied financial and other support to the campaign, the Chamber of Commerce, Newport Regeneration Partnership, neighbouring parish councils and village groups, Newport Civic Society, Newport 21, Newport Town Team and many other groups and organisations too numerous to list, will continue to take forward the issues highlighted in the campaign”.

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