Planning applications

Tesco’s appeal to the July 2008 East Area Committee decision

As you may know, Tesco has appealed against the Council’s decision in July (application ref. 08/0794/FUL) to refuse their application for air conditioning and refrigeration plant. This is (technically) unconnected to the previous appeal against the council’s March 2007 rejection of the extension and air conditioning and refrigeration plant (the one heard at the public inquiry in October 2008).

This means that there will be a second public inquiry, which will be held at some point in 2009. The deadline for comments was 11th November 2008. Read more info …

More information on this will be added here when we have it.

First Public Inquiry documents

Giving your views at the Public Inquiry

You may have received a letter recently about the public inquiry. It is up to you whether you are willing to be cross-examined. The Planning Inspectorate’s guidance states:

After each witness has been formally cross-examined, the Inspector will normally ask if anyone else who objects to the proposed development has any questions. This is your opportunity to speak, but you must make sure that your questions are relevant to the evidence the witnesses have given. You shouldn’t repeat questions that have already been asked.

At this stage, anyone who is interested in the case usually has the chance to speak. At a long inquiry, it is difficult to predict when this stage will be. If you can’t stay at the inquiry all the time, tell the Inspector when the inquiry opens. The Inspector will understand and will try to help by hearing your comments at a different stage of the inquiry, if that is possible.

The Inspector will usually ask if you are willing to answer questions about your evidence. You do not have to do this. If you object to the proposed development, the appellant’s representative will ask these questions. Do not feel intimidated. The Inspector will not let anyone ask you hostile or unfair questions.

July 2008 East Area Committee

We sent:

  1. Our response to the Officers’ Report – a summary of issues
  2. A copy of our formal submission (submitted by post in June 2008) regarding the appeal for the first-round application, 07/0811/FUL
  3. External cage storage
  4. Maps of Tesco stores and local food stores
  5. A note on the applicant’s Express format [online copy to follow]
  6. Detailed response to the Officer Report to July 2008 EAC

At the meeting:

June 2008 planning application

Tesco have now made a new application (08/0794/FUL) for the old Wilco site. This application is for the installation of air conditioning and refrigeration plant only – there is no new application for an extension. (They are also still trying to get the refusal of the last application overturned by the Planning Inspector, but they clearly don’t seem to think their chances are very good.)

Here are some grounds for objection to Tesco’s latest work of fiction:

Read the grounds for objection (summary).

Formal documents that we submitted objecting to 08/0794/FUL:

Tesco’s second appeal (June 2008)

Those of you who submitted objections to Tesco’s original applications should have been notified by the Council that Tesco have now launched a second appeal, this time appealing the decision taken by the East Area Committee.

The appeal says, amongst other things, that:

“The appeal site is highly accessible with a number of transport links in the area” (!)

The appeal also focuses on deliveries – Tesco say (wrongly) that they can deliver to the front of the site – i.e. stop on Mill Road. Not surprisingly, the appeal document makes no mention of the facts that:

  1. conditions attached to the existing planning permission for this particular site expressly prohibit on-street deliveries;
  2. the Cambridge Local Plan also states clearly that deliveries must be made off street (Local Plan 8.21)
  3. at least 30 on-street deliveries of up to 40 minutes each in 10.35 metres (34 foot) lorries would obviously cause terrible traffic problems (congestion, emergency vehicles not being able to get down the street).
  4. Mill Road already has one of the worst accident records in Cambridgeshire.

They mention that they will also seek to have the top of Sedgwick Street made two way and to have some parking spaces on Sedgwick Street removed.

Please resubmit your objections to the Planning Inspectorate. If you submitted an objection to the first appeal (ref APP/Q0505/A/08/1202697) you can simply resend the same document, changing the reference number to

APP/Q0505/A/08/2073579/NWF. You need to send 2 copies of your letter to the following address:

The Planning Inspectorate
3/16 Eagle Wing
Temple Quay House
2 the Square
Temple Quay

Letters need to be received by 17 June 2008.

If you submitted your original objections by email, you may not have been notified of the appeal by the council (we have previously told them about this problem). You are still free to make submissions to the Planning Inspectorate, as is anyone who did not make objections to the original applications.

Tesco’s appeal (March 2008)

Although Tesco initially appealed all three applications of the ‘first round’ of applications not determined in the requisite time (lpa references 07/0809/AD, 07/0810/FUL, and 07/0811/FUL), they have now withdrawn the first two of those appeals, following the decision of East Area Committee at its 6 March 2008 meeting, to approve the two similar proposals in the ‘second round’ of applications.

There is therefore only one application remaining at appeal, 07/0811/FUL. This will be heard at a Public Inquiry.

If you objected to the original applications, you should have received a letter from the Council explaining how to make submissions to the Planning Inspectorate, who will be deciding the appeal. We would encourage you to do this. (NB if you have not received a letter, please let us know). Your original objections will have been forwarded anyway. Any submissions you make do not have to, but can be on the same grounds as your original objections. They must be on planning grounds, however.

You may find it useful to look at the Planning Inspectorate’s guide on how to take part in an Appeal. Pages 24-27 are the ones to look at for writing your letter, pages 11-14 for a description of what is involved in an Inquiry (which this will be) and how you can participate in it.

Owing to a mistake by the Planning Inspectorate, submissions cannot be made electronically, and must be sent by post. You need to send 3 copies before 16 April to:

The Planning Inspectorate
3/16 Eagle Wing
Temple Quay House
2 the Square
Temple Quay

and quote the following references:

  • Planning Reference – 07/0811/FUL
  • Planning Inspectorate Reference – APP/Q0505/A/08/1202697

If you live near the site, you can also ask that when the Planning Inspectors visit the site, they also visit you

so you can explain the impact the extension would have on your home.

Do contact us if you need any help or clarification.

Our objections to the January 2008 applications

Our comments on the January 2008 applications

The January 2008 applications

On 16th January 2008, the City Council withdrew their report on the (2007) applications following a formal complaint by ourselves. As a result, they were not considered by the East Area Committee on 17th January 2008. [Read more detail …]

At this point Tesco – who had been happy for the decisions to be taken on 17th January – well past the normal 8 week deadline for planning decisions – decided to bypass local democracy by appealing on the grounds of non-determination. This takes the decisions out of the hands of our local councillors and means they will be decided by the Planning Inspectorate, probably by Public Inquiry.

At the same time, Tesco lodged 3 new identical applications. These will now be decided by the East Area Committee on 6th March (venue not yet decided). The inference is clear; if approval is given, Tesco will withdraw their appeal.

Any objections submitted to the previous applications will be reported in the case officer’s report regarding the new applications. There is, therefore, no need for you to resubmit objections, unless you have new reasons to object. We will officially be resubmitting the Campaign’s objections (see below), possibly with amendments.

The new planning applications are:

Planning application ref. 08/0099/FUL

“Erection of single storey rear extension and installation of plant.”

Planning application ref. 08/0095/ADV

“Installation of one double sided internally illuminated projecting sign and one internally illuminated fascia sign.”

Planning application ref. 08/0098/FUL

“Installation of new shopfront including ATM unit.”

The “Expiry Date” for these is given as 15th February 2008.

Comments on the planning officers’ report (the 2007 applications)

Our submissions (the 2007 applications)

IMPORTANT: These submissions were for the 2007 applications. We are working on our submissions for the duplicate 2008 applications, revising the following where necessary.

Our Objection to Planning Application ref 07/0811/FUL is the main objection covering the vast majority of the issues.

Our Objection to Planning Application ref 07/0809/ADV covers the second application.

Our comments on the proposal to deliver to the back of the site went to the Council Officers on 20th December 2007, several weeks before they issued their first (incomplete) report in January 2008.

Our briefing on Vitality and viability issues provides answers to an issue that has attracted a great deal of interest in relation to the Tesco applications.

Grounds for objection to the planning applications (2007)

We have now researched and published grounds for objection to the Planning Application.

Please write an objection AS SOON AS POSSIBLE – deadline is Friday 19th October.

The deadline has been extended by the City Council, seemingly due to technical difficulties with their planning database and the postal strikes. However, please write as soon as possible.

Objection sheet/briefing

We have created an objection sheet/briefing note which may be useful for any objections still being submitted.

Subsequent documents on the planning applications (2007)

Tesco subsequently submitted revised delivery plans. Here are our comments on the plans.

The planning applications (2007)     

Tesco has put in 3 planning applications.

Planning application ref. 07/0811/FUL [PDF scan]

“Single story rear extension and installation of plant”

Planning application ref. 07/0809/ADV [PDF scan]

“Installation of one double sided illuminated fascia sign”

Planning application ref. 07/0810/FUL [PDF scan]

“Installation of a new shop front including an ATM”

Note that there are limited grounds for formal objections to planning applications. For instance, matters relating to competition against existing shops are not a valid ground for objection. Please see the grounds for objection to the Planning Application.

When you write, be clear about which application you are objecting to. We think that the most serious problems are with the planned extension at the back of the site, so we suggest that you write to oppose that application. If you have points you want to make about the other two applications, you will need to write separate letters for each of them.

Deadline for comments

The deadline for comments is Friday 19th October 2007.

The deadline has been extended by the City Council, seemingly due to technical difficulties with their planning database and the postal strikes. However, please write as soon as possible.

Who to write to

Letters of objection should go to:

Mrs Angela Briggs <> (01223 457173)

AND Sarah Dyer <> (Angela Briggs is on holiday around this time.)

Angela Briggs / Sarah Dyer,

Environment and Planning,

Cambridge City Council,

The Guildhall,


CB2 3QJ.

Objections can normally be submitted via the City Council’s planning portal, but we understand there are problems with this at present.

DEADLINE: Friday 19th October 2007.

The deadline has been extended by the City Council, seemingly due to technical difficulties with their planning database and the postal strikes. However, please write as soon as possible.

Remember to take account of any postal strike taking place.

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