Call for Asda to remove empty shops ‘eyesore’
9:00am Friday 1st March 2013 in News
RESIDENTS and councillors in Astley Bridge have called on a supermarket giant to clean up a row of “depressing and unsightly” shop units.
Conservative councillor Hilary Fairclough has written to retail giant Asda about the condition of the units at its store in Blackburn Road.
Cllr Fairclough said she had been contacted by nearby businesses and residents who branded the appearance of the units “an eyesore” and “a blight on the landscape”.
She said: “The shops are all empty and boarded up.
“I believe that Asda originally had plans to demolish and improve the car parking, however, for some reason, this was put on hold and so the shops are just making the area look neglected and run down. I did contact them with some short-term ideas that might make the area look better and hopefully show the store in a good light.
“The residents and businesses feel really let down by the dreadful appearance of the approach to the store.
“I understand that to let the shops at low rents would be problematic, and costly.
“I assume most to the services are no longer available and to get them into any sort of shape would be expensive, so I was looking at purely cosmetic and hopefully beneficial to all parties.” Nearby resident Arthur Rawlinson, of Stambourne Drive, said: “These properties are a blight on the Astley Bridge landscape.
“Asda owe it to the local community and in particular the businesses directly opposite the properties to explain their plans and timescales for the redevelopment of the site.
“If their plans have been delayed due to the economic climate, the minimum they should do is immediately demolish the properties and level the site.” Eastgrove Avenue resident Pat Gyongyosi said: “Rather than the eyesore we have it would be wonderful for the row of shops to be part of Asda and extend the clothes section.”
An Asda spokesman said: “We are currently reviewing our options with regards to our Bolton store to ensure we continue to offer our customers a great shopping experience.”