A new Marks and Spencer’s supermarket has been recommended for approval in Ludlow.

A planning application for the store was lodged by Avenbury Properties in October, after a previous scheme was withdrawn over design and highways concerns.

If given the green light, the new store on Sheet Road near the A49 will create around 70 permanent jobs, Marks and Spencer says.

The new scheme uses an amended design which desevelopers say is more in-keeping with the Ludlow area, but the issue divides opinion locally, with around 20 letters received in support of the application and 15 against.

Objectors to the scheme say Ludlow is already well catered for by major supermarkets, while Ludford Parish Council say they remain concerned over the safety of the road traffic elements of the scheme, which would see a new T-Junction constructed off Sheet Road to access the site.

“Ludford Parish Council continues to have concerns relating to highway issues. Particularly, the number of additional vehicles that will utilise the highway and junction in combination with other proposed and approved developments in the locality, as well as the accessibility of the development from approved residential development within the vicinity of the application site,” they said.

However, in recommending the scheme for approval, Shropshire Council planning officers say the developers have provided a traffic plan which is acceptable.

“The Retail Impact Assessment considers that the erection of a new food store will not affect the success of the town or market and that shopping patterns will not substantially alter, ” said a recommendation from Shropshire Council planning case officer Louise Evans.

“The application has been accompanied a Transport Assessment and Travel Plan as well as individual responses to matters raised by the Council’s highway engineers.. It is concluded that sufficient evidence has been produced to demonstrate that the scheme can be accommodated at the proposed site without significant adverse highway impacts subject to the use of planning conditions to manage implementation.

“The development will bring forward a scheme with a positive appearance for the proposed location and includes appropriate infrastructure to service the scheme.”

The decision is set to go before members at Shropshire Council’s Southern Planning Committee on Tuesday, January 16.