Friday, March 02, 2007
Yet another town battling against Tesco.
Opponents argue that the current proposals are so big that they would have an adverse effect on the market town atmosphere of the community and would put smaller, competing, businesses in the area at risk. Instead, they would prefer the redevelopment to resurrect plans drawn up several years ago which would have allowed the construction of a smaller supermarket along with a new market square, smaller shops and possibly flats above. Those proposals date from 2001 and were discussed at a public meeting in 2003 but have not been advanced since then.
Group spokesman Pete Riley said: "Barnsley Planning Regulatory Board have the power to say no to the Tesco application and invite the developers to come forward with a new proposal which builds on the market town character of Penistone. "It is extraordinary that the earlier plans which were paid for by tax payers have been dropped like a hot potato," he added.
Thursday, March 01, 2007
Tesco accused of bullying council.
Towards the end of the letter Mr Prichard states: "It would be both unreasonable and irrational for the council to seek to refuse the current application on the basis that some members are seeking to secure additional changes to the design which, based on the advice given by officers, are unnecessary, would clearly adversely impact on the adjoining conservation area and are without merit - especially in view of the fact that my client's fallback position is to implement the currently approved food store. In the event that the application is either deferred or refused my client will: (a) proceed with implementation of the current approved food store scheme; and (b) reserve its right to pursue and appeal in respect of what would be unreasonable refusal of an application for a scheme which actually enhances the design of the proposed food store. The legal advice which we have received (which is consistent with our view) is that an appeal on the narrow ground of design is likely to succeed and the council would place itself in a potentially vulnerable position if the main reason for refusal is the failure on the part of my client to agree to amend the design of the food store to introduce a pitched roof which, in terms of design, would adversely impact on the character and appearance of the adjoining conservation area. I trust that you will draw this letter to the attention of your members in the hope that common sense will prevail, and they will support the clear and considered officer recommendation, which is to approve the application."
At public question time former Ilminster Mayor Margaret Excell described the letter as "bullying tactics". Ilminster district councillor Kim Turner said: "I don't like receiving a letter saying their legal advice says an appeal is likely to succeed. I feel this letter from this agent or from Tesco is a bullying tactic and I disagree with anything like that." Linda Vijeh agreed, saying: "I don't think blackmail letters should be any reason to vote for it."
The deadline has passed!
Now you can start pressing your councillors to read all the submissions and make the only acceptable choice, to reject Tescos planning application.
If you missed the deadline, then still submit your objections. It is likely, given the size and attention of the application, that they will be getting plenty of correspondence on this issue right up to the wire.
Good Luck, and thanks.