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Bourne End M&S garage work underway amid claims of retail overcrowding
WORK is well underway on a new £1.25million petrol station and shop in Bourne End, bringing yet another national food retailer to the village.
The BP garage on The Parade closed in July for a major refurbishment, which will see a new shop featuring a Wild Bean Cafe and a M&S Simply Food outlet.
The existing shop and forecourt has now been demolished, with the outside structure of the replacement shop now in place.
The arrival of a Marks and Spencer will add another grocery store to the already crowded Bourne End centre, with two Co-op stores already operating within a hundred yards of the station.
A Sainsbury’s development at Parade Court is also awaiting planning permission, and the long-mooted Tesco store is still a possibility at the old police station.
BFP readers have been voicing their concerns over the number of retailers appearing in villages like Bourne End.
Robin Skinner wrote: “One accepts the benefits supermarkets have brought us and these national chains obviously wield considerable power.
“It is surely time though for more consideration to be given to the consequences the proliferation of all these satellite stores have for the local community.”
Another reader, who did not wish to be named, wrote last week to say: “The population of Bourne End, Flackwell Heath and the Wooburns combined is about 15,000 with various big chain retail outlets in these other two villages as well.
“Even the planning department at Wycombe District Council can surely see that this is a potent threat to existing businesses and that it is too many similar stores for one small village to sustain.”
The revamped garage has already secured a 24-hour licence, with the new complex set to serve fuel and refreshments, but not alcohol, overnight.
The BP station is scheduled to re-open in September, with the underground fuel tanks also set to be replaced during the overhaul.
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