Save our Sheringham - Say NO to Tesco

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Battle plans over Tesco store

Battle lines are being drawn for a big supermarket planning inquiry - and the main “bullets” are now going on show to the public. The long-running saga of Tesco's bid to build at store at Sheringham will come to a head at a 12-day appeal hearing in front of a planning inspector which opens on July 1. But documents outlining the main arguments of the main protagonists are now sitting at council offices for anyone to browse through before the debate begins. North Norfolk District Council's planning legal and enforcement manager Roger Howe said the inquiry would be a mix of detailed expert evidence from the council and company with strong objections from some locals. The four main issues being addressed are:
planning policy - from national and local level, including the location of supermarkets, the “sequential” test to see if there was a more suitable central site, and the emerging new Local Development Framework, which is advocating a that any store that is half the size of the one planned by Tesco
highways - looking at the impact of the store on the coast road, roundabout, and potential for “rat runs” down residential roads
retail impact - not to do with competition, but whether the 1,500 sq m store would harm the vitality and viability of the town centre
design - following criticism that the glass and panelled building is too bland for its surroundings.
Tesco have argued the store is needed to stop people heading away from Sheringham for their weekly shop, and will provide good spin-off trade for the rest of the town. But opponents, including the Sheringham Campaign Against Major Retail Overdevelopment, the town council and chamber of trade, say it will destroy the existing town centre and cause congestion chaos on the busy coast road. Tesco is appealing against the failure of the district council to make a decision on its 2003 plans, and refusal of amended 2007 plans which are similar but include a right turn access lane. The hearing is set to run from Tuesday to Friday, 10am to 5pm during each of the three weeks, at the district council chamber in Cromer. Letters are being sent to 1,500 people who have had dealings with the council over the planning saga, notifying them of the inquiry. Proofs of evidence are available to inspect at the district planning department - with people asked to phone 01263 516130 to make an appointment - or at Sheringham Town Council offices which are open from 9.30am-12.30pm Monday, Wednesday and Friday.