What is town centre's future?

BELPER could soon gain a new supermarket and lose a current one.

An Amber Valley Borough Council source has told the Belper News a major supermarket is looking for a site in the town.

No official planning application has yet been made but it is believed the location for the development could be the now partially closed Fuchs Lubricants site on Derby Road.

Spokesmen for both Tesco and Sainsburys refused to comment on the development.

A Tesco spokesman said: We could not make a comment until an official application has been made.

Tesco has shown interest in moving to the town before.

In August 1998 the company said it would like to build a 10m shopping centre in the town but no site was confirmed.

As one supermarket plans to move to the town another one could soon face having to leave.

The council source, who did not want to be named, said the future of town centre supermarket Somerfield could be in doubt. He said as part of next month s future of Belper conference a proposal is to be put forward to knock the shop down to turn the site into a market square.

Staff and managers of Somerfield have not been informed of the proposal which will be made at the town centre conference on February 8.

The proposals have been drawn up by consultancy firm the Donaldson Edwards Partnership.

The council has not committed to accepting the proposals.

As the Belper News went to press nobody from Somerfield was available for comment.

Amber Valley Borough has also confirmed the future of Belper conference will not be open to the public.

The conference will be held at Strutt House in Belper on February 8 at 9.30am but only invited guests can attend. The conference is currently limited to 160 guests.

A full report of the conference will appear in the Belper News.