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Community turns on family’s store plans
A FAMILY say they are being made to feel like “murderers” by members of their community, because they have applied to build a convenience store next to their home.
Peradeepa Sebasty-Noel, 27, of Upham Road, said she and her family have been left trapped by fear in their home by neighbours unhappy with her application to demolish her garage and build a new shop.
There have been six objections to the application in the past three days and a petition has already collected 50 signatures. Neighbours say the shop is unnecessary, with shops in Drove Road and Old Town sufficiently convenient.
There are also concerns the shop could disrupt the residential area by attracting more children to the estate, as well as more litter and vandalism.
Some are worried about congestion and the prospect of cars blocking driveways and the bus service which runs down Upham Road.
“If they don’t want it, we will leave it. We wanted to at least try and start our business,” said Peradeepa. “I don’t care if it’s accepted or rejected, I just want the way we are being treated to stop. The way people are taking it is really hurtful.
“What makes me angry is the people gathering outside our house and taking videos. We feel like murderers.
“I’m not comfortable leaving the house anymore.”
Peradeepa and her husband, Dennis, 37, moved to Swindon from London six years ago and each have backgrounds in retailing they wanted to use with their own shop.
Having worked with an architect on the plans, they are confident the design blends in with the neighbouring buildings.
There are no intentions to sell alcohol in the shop and the family plans to close at 5.30pm each day, limiting any anti-social problems associated with drunken behaviour.
The design includes an off-street car park in front of the shop, capable of accommodating four cars, with separate entrance and exit points, limiting congestion.
Maria Kurdola, 65, of Parklands Road, is against the plans. She said: “There are school kids who are already sitting on my wall, littering. There are also drunken yobs coming down from Old Town dropping glass bottles. If the shop is built, this problem will only get worse.”
“That store existed without any issues, so it can only be of benefit to the local community, unless they have issues I’m not aware of.
“If residents have any problems they would like addressing, they are welcome to speak with me.”
A decision will be made on the future of the proposed shop before October 24. The public can send comments to Swindon Council until September 20.
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