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Asda reveals intention to set up shop at Plover Road, Minster, opposite Sheppey Community Hospital, which could create 80 jobs

By Emma Grove

It’s been revealed that supermarket giant Asda has plans to open a new food store in Kent – and with it the promise of dozens of jobs.

Developers are preparing a planning application for the Leeds-based company to set up opposite the entrance to Sheppey Community Hospital on the Thistle Hill Estate in Minster.

There are also proposals for another four neighbourhood shops on the site, which covers around eight acres, and 90 parking spaces.

The site of proposed new Asda store in Plover Road, Minster

The £6million project could create 80 jobs.

The news has been welcomed by Minster Parish Council chairman Ken Ingleton.

He said: “It has been promised to the residents for some years now and it will be nice to see shopping facilities for people there.”

MP Gordon Henderson said things were increasingly positive for Sheppey.

“Minster is very light for retail, apart from The Broadway, and Thistle Hill has been a growing area," he added.

“The long-promised retail units are going to arrive and 80-odd jobs – it’s really good news.”

Elevations of the proposed Asda store in Plover Road, Minster

The land, in Plover Road, is owned by Dalemarch (Sheppey) and the scheme is a joint venture with Starnes Plc – both of which are property management companies.

If it is given the go ahead by Swale council, the Asda shop will be 16,500 sq ft in size and the hope is that other retail units will be mixed use such as a cafe, dry-cleaners or florist.

The supermarket has committed to the project so will definitely open if it is approved by planners.

The site is already earmarked for housing and there will also be a planning application put forward for around 120 homes to be built at the rear.

“It has been promised to the residents for some years now and it will be nice to see shopping facilities for people there...” - Minster Parish Council chairman Ken Ingleton

The news comes almost a year after a Morrisons opened at the £30m Neats Court retail park in Queenborough.

Sainsbury’s also had plans to move to the Island – at the former HBC Engineering site in Power Station Road, Halfway, which is now likely to be housing – but it pulled out.

Director of Starnes Richard Williams said: “The new Asda and adjacent shops will deliver much-needed choice for those living on Sheppey and will allow the inhabitants of Minster to shop locally.”

The bid follows lengthy negotiations with Bovis Homes to try to move the location of a shop it had been required to build, from near the community centre off Thistle Hill Way, to Plover Road.

After this failed the partnership decided to put forward its own plan.

A public consultation is planned for early September and the companies hope to submit a planning application in October or November, with the hope of having the stores finished by next summer.

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