Supermarkets claim that they offer us choice, value and convenience but they are actually powerful corporations who bully their suppliers and crush local economies. We think that Stroud has enough supermarkets and that we should be supporting our local shops and opposing the building of more supermarkets in our town.
SASS is not against change or development and fully supports new investment and regeneration in the local economy in line with the 'Local Plan'. However, we maintain that these developments will harm industry, including small and medium sized enterprises, as well as putting pressure on diversity of livelihood and overall employment rates.
Stroud has a thriving town centre that is full of vibrant local independent retailers and a hugely successful nationally acclaimed farmers' market. Its unique mix of shops, cafés and bars provides an excellent retail setting for tourists and residents alike. Stonehouse too has a diverse mix of independent shops, and is well-served by the co-operative store on the High Street.
These distinctly positive and attractive elements in the retail settings could change very significantly if these supermarket developments are allowed to proceed.
Developers propose to locate one supermarket on a flood-plain at Ryeford and another on a historical industrial site in Lightpill. Each site is on a key gateway route into Stonehouse and Stroud. We should fight to conserve the historic built fabric and the established infrastructure investment, and thus to enhance the integration and cultural identity of the district. This is what gives Stroud its rich and varied attractive characteristics. We already have four large supermarkets operating in Stroud district and SASS argues strongly that there is no need for any more.