DESPITE strong support from members of the public for a new retail park in Low Prudhoe, councillors have voted to object against the plans.

The detailed planning application for the eastern part of a proposed retail park, on land south of Princess Way, was submitted to Northumberland County Council two weeks ago.

And the plans by Northumberland Estates show that KFC, Aldi and B&M are among the first chains to show an interest in opening at the site.

Northumberland County Council is currently collecting comments from the public and from statutory consultees on the application, before it goes before the county council’s strategic planning committee.

And at last Wednesday’s meeting of Prudhoe Town Council, councillors discussed what their formal response to the application would be.

Coun. Glenn Simpson admitted that much of the public feeling was in support of the application, but he said: “I am not in favour of it, and most people I have spoken to are, so I am not going to be popular.”

He raised points including that it would have an affect on businesses on Front Street, and that the fast food outlets would lead to more litter in the town.

Coun. Jennifer McGee agreed that it could affect town centre businesses, while Coun. Bryan Futers said that no public transport plan meant it would only be accessible to people by car.

However, Coun. Tracy Gilmore said: “I don’t think it will have any impact on the town centre. Most people, me included, drive out of Prudhoe to do our weekly shop.

“If it was in Prudhoe the money would be staying in Prudhoe. For me and for the people I have spoken to I think this is fantastic; it will make their lives easier.”

Coun. Gerry Price agreed, adding: “We want to move with the times.”

The town council agreed to support a proposal to object to the development, with five councillors in favour to four against, giving their reasons as the impact the development would have on the town centre.

However, they acknowledged that outline planning permission had already been approved and suggested that if this further planning application was approved, Northumberland County Council should work with the developer to secure a section 106 agreement to benefit the community.

They suggested an employment and skills plan, to provide local job opportunities, a litter strategy and local travel plan, to ensure a bus service is available.