INDEPENDENT traders have vowed to do all they can to ensure that Dunbar High Street remains vibrant in the face of a potential supermarket expansion.

Asda Stores Limited wants to increase the size of its Spott Road store, which opened more than a decade ago.

The additional space, which would be to the north of the existing building, would allow for more homeware to be stocked, alongside the creation of a home shopping service.

Dunbar Trades’ Association (DTA) strongly opposed the supermarket when it was first proposed.

DTA members met recently and discussed the supermarket giant’s plans for expansion, which are being weighed up by East Lothian Council’s planning department.

A DTA spokeswoman said: “Dunbar Trades’ Association discussed the proposed expansion of Asda and, even though we have had no official communication, we feel that Asda serves a purpose within the community.

“High Street is the backbone of our community and we are very, very proud of High Street and the independent retail shops that we offer.

“We have to ensure that our High Street remains so.”

Currently, the store has a floorspace of about 3,078m2, with the extension adding a further 569m2 to the building.

The proposed extension would result in 26 parking spaces being lost.

However, the plans suggest that the 219 remaining spaces would be adequate because the increase in home delivery trips would offset the reduction in customer trips to the store.

The proposals show that four vans are expected to operate from the store, with one van making four delivery trips per day and the remaining three vans doing half that amount.

A number of Dunbar’s community councillors have met with Asda representatives about the proposals.

Pippa Swan, chairwoman of the town’s community council, said “generally, we were very supportive of it”.

She added: “It is a very relatively modest extension.

“It is predominantly houseware and they are going to run their home shopping service from there with potentially another 30 jobs.

“At the moment, home deliveries come out of Edinburgh.”

The supermarket, which forms part of a development off Spott Road, which also includes a petrol station, the Pine Marten hotel and restaurant, and McDonald’s restaurant, was given the go-ahead in 2004.

At that time, many traders predicted it would have a serious impact on businesses in the town centre.

Mrs Swan added: “Our understanding is their offer is not one that is going to conflict with High Street.”