Tesco store set to bring 120 jobs - but not all are pleased
BURRY Port is to get a new Tesco store — but the news has been met with mixed reaction.
Approval for the supermarket, planned for alongside the railway line and next to the Neptune Buildings, was granted by Carmarthenshire Council's planning committee last week.
The final step means that the town will benefit from around 120 new jobs.
But despite the boost in employment, some traders fear it could spell doom for existing shops.
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Burry Port butcher Elgan Jones warned the decision would mean "heartbreak for the town".
He said: "People don't realise how much damage it will do to the community.
"We will see other shops closing like they have in other areas of Wales."
He added he was "disheartened" with the decision and feared for his own business.
He said: "Burry Port is a ghost town as it is and now they are going to close the town with a supermarket."
He said he feared Burry Port's Co-operative store, which lies on Station Road, could be forced to close as a result.
But Dave Morgan, who runs The Gym in Station Road, said: "I think it's a positive move.
"It's good for the area, some businesses might suffer a little, like the Co-op which I have concern for — but we need some bigger names in the community.
"It's creating jobs and has a parking area, so it can only be a bonus for the town."
And shopper Stewart Perrin, of Mansel Street, said: "This is great news for Burry Port — for years people have had to travel to Llanelli for their shopping.
"I just hope that having a supermarket here doesn't affect the smaller, independent shops."
Alex Norton, who runs Burry Port's Surf Bar Cafe, was equally pleased about Tesco's imminent arrival.
"I hope they can start as soon as possible," he said.
"Just having the workmen here will bring money into the area, and they will be staying in local hotels.
"Tesco is going to be the biggest employer in Burry Port. I'm all for it."
Approval for the store had already been granted in principle in 2010.
The supermarket giant then applied for planning permission on the details of the shop, including its layout, appearance and landscaping.
The committee was told there would be a 134-space car park and that the service yard had been moved after consultation with householders.
County councillor Pat Jones welcomed the extra jobs.
She said: "How many communities in Carmarthenshire can get that? It is really good for the town.
"This development ticks all the boxes whereby the only rational conclusion is to approve the application."
A spokeswoman for Tesco said she was unable to give a date for when the work would begin on the development.