Tesco appeals against refusal
PUBLISHED: 09:52 19 November 2008 | UPDATED: 22:39 15 June 2010
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INSPECTOR David Nicholson presided over Tesco s planning appeal for a new Extra store in Honiton.
INSPECTOR David Nicholson presided over Tesco's planning appeal for a new Extra store in Honiton.The appeal hearing, staged in the council chamber at Knowle, Sidmouth, opened on Tuesday last week and ran into this week. It had been scheduled to last for four days.David Elvin QC represented Tesco, while East Devon District Council was represented by Adrian Trevelayn Thomas and consultant Matthew Morris.Mr Nicholson's decision is expected to be announced after Christmas.TESCO could open a second, non-food store in Honiton tomorrow - without planning permission.That was the "fallback" option outlined by David Elvin QC, on behalf of Tesco, at the appeal hearing last week.Protesters described the option of two Tesco stores in the town as "blackmail", but planning laws would allow it.Tesco would prefer to offer consumers choice under one roof, in a new purpose-built store in Ottery Moor Lane.However, if unsuccessful in its bid to develop an Extra store at the site, it could operate a non-food retail outlet in premises currently occupied by Rainbow. No planning permission would be required.When East Devon District Council queried car parking at the site, Mr Elvin pointed out the site is already operating as a retail outlet and that car parking is not a current issue.Amended plans for the proposed new store were widely distributed to Honiton residents before the appeal hearing got under way last week.Among those to receive a copy was 14-year-old Jonathan Salisbury, of Willow Walk, who said he felt "quite important" as he had not knowingly made any comment about Tesco's relocation proposal.Tesco addressed a total of eight reasons for refusal during the hearing. Among them was the design of the proposed new building. Amendments had been made, taking into consideration comments previously made by objectors.Full submissions are available to view on the Herald's website.A report by Lorna Randall-Jones, on behalf of ADL Traffic Engineering Limited, into highways issues, concluded: "I have demonstrated that the proposal can be adequately and safely accommodated within the local road network, subject to the agreed mitigation package, and that it accords with national, regional and local policies in terms of its accessibility and sustsainability."Devon County Council agreed with Tesco's analysis of cycle parking provision, even though it fell short of East Devon District Council's requirements.The proposed store would be serviced by 10 vehicles a day, with a home delivery option running an extra "seven services per van per day".Dyfrig Hughes, a partner of DPP, submitted professional evidence on the demolition of existing buildings and the erection of a new food store with associated parking and servicing.On the subject of Rainbow, he said the existing unit benefits from open A1 retail consent and that planning permission is not required for its re-use by another retailer."If planning consent were not to be forthcoming for the appeal proposal, the unit would be available to Tesco to trade as a second store within the town of Honiton."An enhanced retail offer in Honiton is at the core of Tesco's proposals, said Mr Hughes.He stressed a need exists in quantitative and qualitative terms, and that the there are no sites closer than Ottery Moor Lane that could deliver the need.Mr Hughes said "There will be no harm to what is a particularly vital and vibrant town centre".Tesco counteracted reasons for refusal point by point.It says adequate land is available to meet employment needs and that there is a need for a new store, and that a larger Tesco provision in Honiton would not have an adverse impact on the vitality and viability of the town centre.