Archive for 9th January 2008

Tesco pulls out of Darlington store plans – campaigning works!

Yet another example of Tesco pulling out of plans after local opposition. [See more …]

Tesco puts garage site up for sale

Supermarket chain Tesco has pulled out of plans to open its first store in Darlington.

Tesco yesterday admitted it had dropped proposals to build an Express shop on a former petrol station in the town’s North Road.

A spokesman revealed it had, instead, put the site up for sale.

Juliette Bishop, from Tesco, said: “We are disappointed that our planning application for the site on North Road has been unsuccessful.

“We remain convinced that our plans would benefit the local area, as well as regenerating a derelict site.

“However, after taking some time to consider our options, we have decided to no longer progress plans for this site.”

Councillors rejected the third set of plans for the former Shell garage on December 12.

Tesco had also appealed against the council’s previous refusal for the 107,000 sq ft store in the Harrowgate Hill area of the town.

Councillor Mark Burton, who represents Harrowgate Hill on Darlington Borough Council, had earlier this week contacted the company to ensure the site was tidied up as Tesco had promised last month.

He said: “I am very surprised.

Tesco generally fights tooth and nail.

“It would be nice to see it sold onto a housing developer for houses relatively the same as those in the area.”

Tesco bought the site for £500,000 last January, four months after an initial set of plans for a mini-supermarket were refused.

Coun Burton said: “I can see it being derelict for quite some time. That is the last thing people really want.”

Shell closed the petrol station in February 2005 and put the site up for sale.

The site was then plagued by anti-social behaviour until fencing was erected around it.

In August 2006, plans were unveiled for a 24-hour Tesco store and 130 apartments on the present town hall site.

The council later refused the plans after a petition with more than 10,000 names was handed in to the council.

Tesco’s only presence in Darlington is a One Stop shop, in Yarm Road, whose parent company was bought by the chain in Jaunary 2003. It still operates under the One Stop name.

The Northern Echo, Wednesday 9th January 2008

Questions about Mill Road for Councillors

A question was asked by a member of the public at the 9th January East Area Committee meeting, as follows, which has relevance to our Campaign:

“Looking at the County Council’s map of accidents in Cambridge, it is clear that the section of Mill Road from the bridge to Coleridge Road is extremely dangerous, with cyclists particularly vulnerable. The Cambridge Cycling Campaign website, for instance, contains many pictures of the hazards caused by lorries in particular. Do Councillors agree that every effort must be made to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists, and that it is essential to stop any increase in the presence of delivery lorries in the narrow side streets off Mill Road.

Given the current lack of adequate car and cycle parking provision on the streets of Romsey, do Councillors agree that to lose any existing parking spaces, either on the streets or in existing small private car parks, would exacerbate the problem?”

The minutes, published subsequently, state:

“Members in responding to the question made the following points:

  • There was a general awareness of the dangers drawn attention to in the question and the concerns too that parking was at a premium at evenings and weekends.
  • The County Council was piloting a CCTV based scheme for traffic control, and there was the proposal of a 20mph speed restriction, although it was unlikely to be needed during most of the day, due to the weight of the traffic.
  • County Council Highways Engineers were due to come to all Area Committees and it would provide an opportunity for residents and members to put these points to them.
  • The Local Plan had added to the problem by reducing parking spaces per household.
  • There were other issues as well as the peak flow of traffic that the Highways Authority representatives could be asked to address on 28 February meeting of this Committee, residents should make sure they were able to attend, although the officers might not be in a position to provide a response.
  • Cycle parking provision was an issue which had been raised, particularly secure cycle parking, in view of the increase in theft of cycles.
  • Poor street lighting was a contributory factor to some accidents; improved lighting would do more to improve the accident record than CCTV control.
  • A proper analysis of the accident record including the difference between daylight and night-time accidents would be useful.”