Two new shops are set to be built in West Hallam, despite objections from neighbours.
But councillors heaped praise on the plan for the car park of the Dales Shopping Centre, saying it would provide more choice for shoppers in the village.
Eight objectors – along with West Hallam Parish Council – feared the plan would increase traffic problems as vehicles would be stopped from passing directly through the car park to Nursery Avenue.
One complained that emergency vehicles would struggle to get through the car park and another said there was already inadequate parking.
Cllr Val Custance agreed with the objectors. She said: “There are other empty shops in Ilkeston – I’m not sure why we have to have two more there.”
But Cllr Howard Griffiths said the precinct, which contains a Tesco, a GP surgery and takeaways, would become ‘more viable’ with the extra shops.
“If there’s a variety of shops there, other shops are liable to benefit by increased footfall,” he told the Erewash Borough Council planning committee on Wednesday (August 21).
Addressing residents’ fears that the shops would stand empty, architect Alan MacGowan behind the £153,000 plan – hinted that applicant Kam Nijjar already has traders in mind.
“He wouldn’t be considering doing this unless he had retailers lined up for them,” he told the meeting.
The shop has to be ‘A1’ use, which includes shops, hairdressers, travel agents, pet shops, undertakers and sandwich bars – but not takeaways. cafes or restaurants.
“To answer objections that there is already enough retail in the village, there is one and that’s Tesco,” he added.
“The majority of people who use this centre live in the village or the space around it,
“Now there is no real need to drive to shops to buy your Sunday paper.”