Breaking news: Tesco preferred option for Seaton

PUBLISHED: 17:11 04 September 2009 | UPDATED: 00:06 16 June 2010

TESCO is the preferred option for Seaton s regeneration, the Herald can reveal.

TESCO is the preferred option for Seaton's regeneration, the Herald can reveal.

Planning officers recommend Tesco over a rival application by Sainsbury's in a report due to be considered by councillors at a special meeting later this month.

The Herald was able to read the report today (Friday, September 4).

Tesco's proposals, which include a store with petrol filling station and car parking, are being recommended for approval on condition the supermarket chain contributes to the town, such as £1.7 million towards the proposed Seaton Visitor Centre.

Mayor Sandra Semple said: "We are bitterly disappointed. All this talk about local democracy is pure hypocrisy and everything about it is encapsulated in the remark that was made recently 'why would you pass a Tesco to go to a Tesco?'

"Tesco and conditions are not natural partners. We have limited resources and expenses but we will fight it as much as we can. We are not professionals, we are amateurs, and fighting is expensive work - as the supermarkets are aware of."

Other provisions were listed for the Tesco application, such as limitations on the landfill needed to raise the surface level being brought to the site by road.

Officers recommend Sainsbury's plan be refused because it would be outside the town centre and the present site was important for residents' recreation.

It also questioned the viability of Sainsbury's proposed basement parking and how it would benefit the town, as set out in the application, without an agreement under Section 106.

Cllr Semple added: "It seems particularly upsetting that the large Tesco store in Honiton was recently refused by EDDC, in part because it would take away vitality from the town centre.

"The planning inspector pointed out that an enlarged Tesco would mostly be taking away business from the other Tescos. Fortunately for Honiton, they had the backing of an EDDC leader and chairman who are now county councillors for the area."

She said Seaton did not have such backing.

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