Not necessarily what you'll get

PUBLISHED: 02:01 15 October 2008 | UPDATED: 22:27 15 June 2010

May I correct a possible misunderstanding about the picture which appeared as Tesco's Vision for Seaton" in your newspaper last week? The picture showed the proposed Tesco store, some kiosks opposite it, a covered shelter, a pedestrian walkway across th

May I correct a possible misunderstanding about the picture which appeared as "Tesco's Vision for Seaton" in your newspaper last week? The picture showed the proposed Tesco store, some kiosks opposite it, a covered shelter, a pedestrian walkway across the Harbour Road/Underfleet junction and a conceptual idea of what a Visitor Centre might look like.In the planning application, which Tesco outlined at the exhibition, only the store, petrol station, parking area and kiosks form part of the proposed planning application. Tesco currently have no plans for the covered shelter, a pedestrian walkway or a visitor centre or any development on other parts of that site which they own. The only entrance to the Tesco store, the parking area, kiosks and petrol station will be on Harbour Road roughly opposite where Rossini's restaurant stands. All traffic will need to turn into the site from Harbour Road and presumably there would need to be traffic lights at this new T-junction, although these are not shown on the plan. Note also that the "masterplan" did not include the holiday village site so we have no idea what they plan for that after the holiday village closes in January 2009.There are other aspects of the project that need to be made clearer. As regards infill, we were told that 60 lorries a day, five days a week would take nine months to fill just the part of the site required by the store, petrol station, parking space and kiosks. Now that Devon County Council has reduced this to no more than 40 lorries a day, this will presumably now take one year. According to Tesco, the proposed route for lorries is in through Axmouth and out via Seaton Down Hill. It is debatable whether an "eco store" can balance its eco-friendly construction against this eco-cost to the entire area whilst it is being built.The two types of experimental infill discussed other than bringing in large amounts of infill by lorry are (a) a type of polystyrene which is lighter than normal infill and (b) piping infill from a barge out at sea. Tesco said that (a) would be eight times lighter than regular infill and would therefore take fewer lorries. However, they did not say what the VOLUME of this material is. If the volume is the same as infill, it is not the weight that will decide how many lorries, it is the volume. As regards (b) the idea of bringing infill in by sea, whilst novel, has its own possible problems. One is that infill brought in from another part of the UK could well contaminate our own bay with species that are not suitable to it or it could react with other species in the area to make changes to our bay which might be irreversible, for example, they might damage the pink fan corals. Bear in mind, also, that we currently have a ban on scallop dredging in part of Lyme Bay which contains many important and fragile marine species and it is possible that, in the near future, it could become a marine conservation area.I have no particular axe to grind with any of the supermarkets that wish to have a presence in Seaton but people must understand that what they have seen in the Tesco exhibition is not necessarily what they will get.James SempleBy emailSeaton


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