A CO-OP may be coming to Arborfield, as plans for a new village shop have been unveiled.
If approved, the site where The Bramshill Hunt pub used to trade will be home to a 370-square-meter shop, selling basic groceries, ready meals, sandwiches, snacks, as well as fruit and vegetables. The Co-op will also trade as an off-license.
The new store would see an investment of around £600,000 by the Co-op, leasing the land from developers. It would include customer car parking and would run on 100% renewable electricity.
The shop would also create around 15 local jobs.
Some residents have welcomed the shop, however there are also concerns about the impact of late-night noise on local residents.
However, a survey of 200 residents — carried out by community consultants, Instinctif — found that almost 95% of people were likely to use a Co-op convenience store on this site. Almost 80% believed that the choice of current food offering within a walking distance of their home was poor.
And more than half said that they never visited The Bramshill Hunt while it was open.
Chris Barter, Co-op acquisition manager, said: “The Co-op continues to explore new locations to serve communities – offering what members and customers want and need, conveniently.
“We are delighted that subject to planning consent and approvals there is an opportunity to create a new convenience store in Arborfield to serve the community.
“The Co-op is committed to creating value in its communities and making a difference locally, and we await the outcome of the planning process.”
Cllr John Kaiser, Conservative for neighbouring Barkham, said that the pub had had numerous owners in recent years, but since REME Garrison had moved out no one had been able to make it work.
“The customer bases have drifted away. We haven’t had a lot of stores in Arborfield, and I quite like the idea of it being used for something, because obviously it’s becoming derelict and attracting anti-social behaviour.”