IT is claimed that 250 new jobs will be created if a new supermarket and petrol station is opened on the outskirts of Ludlow.

Two major supermarket chains are said to be interested in the controversial scheme.

The developer has given a commitment that a third of the jobs would be full time and that there will be a condition to ensure that the vast majority of them go to people from Ludlow and the surrounding area.

A two day consultation at the Rockspring Community Centre has been completed and is likely to inform an application to establish the principle for retail development of the site by the junction of the A49 and A4117 at Rocks Green.

Visitors to the consultation were told that the scheme would involve a supermarket of 25,000 sq feet making it slightly larger than the existing Tesco store in Ludlow. There would be 200 parking spaces including places for people who are disabled and cycle racks.

The site would see tree planting and extensive landscaping.

According to the potential developers the site is served by the 722 and 292 bus services and access would from Dun Cow Road.

They say that the existing road network has the capacity to cope with the traffic and that a benefit of the scheme is that deliveries would not have to made by lorries going through Ludlow town centre.

It is claimed that traffic would be reduced because people could do their shopping and buy petrol at the same time. It is also argued that there would be environmental benefits because people would not have to drive to places like Kidderminster, Shrewsbury or Leominster to do a major supermarket shop.

Behind the scheme is a company called Blackfriars Development Limited which is part of the Blackfriars Development Group which says it has been involved in similar projects in other towns including Newport in Shropshire, Cranbrrok, Shepton Mallet, Tiverton, Didcot and Canterbury.

The developer is clearly aware that the scheme will generate concern about the impact upon other businesses in Ludlow.

But they say that the town has its own niche of independent shops and point out that fears that the development of the Tesco store in Ludlow would mean the death of local retail have not proved to be the case.

They say that the area will benefit because money that currently goes out of the area to nearby towns would be retained in the Ludlow and south Shropshire area.

It is said that the key benefits will be hundreds of new jobs and significant investment in the area that will be good for the local economy.

The proposal will be considered in due course by Ludlow Chamber of trade and Ludlow Town Council that would be a statutory consultee if an application is made to Shropshire Council.

It is considered inevitable that the proposal will prove to be controversial with strong opinions on both sides of the argument.