Tesco Refused Permission for Express Stores: It Can Be Done!
These are just some of the cases where Tesco has been refused permission to open stores. All of these cases are about Tesco Express stores (the same format that is proposed for Mill Road). All of the reasons given for rejection by councillors in these cases are reasons we have given to the Cambridge council planners and the councillors who will be voting on the applications.
Councillors in Barnet refused to approve Tesco’s plans to turn a carpet store into a Tesco Express because they said that it would damage the “vitality and viability” of the area, threatening the survival of local shops. Tesco appealed to the Planning Inspectorate but in April 2007 the Planning Inspectorate upheld the council’s decision. This has been described as a landmark decision because it provides a precedent for rejecting Tesco Express applications where they threaten local shopping areas, as one would on Mill Road.
In December 2007, councillors in Darlington rejected Tesco’s application to build a Tesco Express because it wasn’t needed, would threaten local shops, and would generate too much traffic. Tesco put the site up for sale last month.
Tesco’s latest application to build an Express store on the site of a former petrol station on Unthank Road, Norwich was rejected by councillors in January 2008, although the planning officers recommended approval. The applications were refused on the grounds that the proposed store would pose a threat to highway safety and the lack of parking spaces would increase traffic congestion in the area. One of the councillors said that “we did think there was definitely a traffic danger to the public”.
Councillors in Sefton turned down an application for a Tesco Express in June 2007 on the grounds that a Tesco Express would disrupt local residents, that the delivery plans would be a threat to road safety, and that it would increase traffic congestion.
In December 2007, Manchester City Council Planning Committee refused permission for a Tesco Express in Chorlton, South Manchester. Just as they ahve done in the Mill Road case, Tesco lodged an appeal on the grounds that the decision hadn’t been taken quickly enough, before the vote on the application was held. Councillors were clearly not intimidated, however, since despite this and despite the fact that planning officers recommended acceptance, councillors voted to refuse on the grounds that it would cause road safety problems and would harm the area.
In January 2008, Preston council rejected an application to build a Tesco Express on the grounds that there was no proper provision for parking and that it would have an “adverse impact on the vitality and viability of nearby local centres and retail provision”.
All of these cases show that there are real and effective planning grounds for turning down applications for Tesco Express stores for exactly the reasons that thousands of us oppose the Mill Road proposal. They show that where councillors and planning officers are committed to representing local people and to defending their interests, it is possible to successfully stand up to Tesco.