Archive for 25th July 2008

The planning officers’ report: our response

The planning officers have (as usual) recommended approval of Tesco’s most recent application, for the installation of refrigeration and air conditioning plant. We think they are wrong, in planning terms, to recommend approval – in fact, we think that their report cannot be a sound basis for approval because it depends entirely on two false assumptions.

Here is a summary of two main points in our submission:

Continue reading ‘The planning officers’ report: our response’ »

Letter to CEN

Following a recent article in the CEN, our Planning Co-ordinator has responded as follows:

If, by this, you mean that I find it unfortunate that the planners have failed even to note that the grounds for approval are completely unsound, then yes, I’m disappointed. If you mean I think it’s surprising that the planners are relying entirely on an acoustic report paid for by Tesco – a report which a professional in the field has told the planners is unreliable – then yes, I’m disappointed. If you mean I think it’s very regrettable that the council website wrongly told local people trying to object on line that the deadline for for objections had passed when it hadn’t, then yes, I’m disappointed.

It’s also disappointing that Tesco are wasting local taxpayers’ money with this application when they clearly don’t intend to open a store with it. It’s disappointing that Tesco care so little about this application that they couldn’t even be bothered to submit all the correct documents (such as an accurate site plan) when they applied. It’s disappointing that a company that claims to listen to local communities is happy to ignore thousands of local people on issues as important as road safety and traffic congestion.

But am I disappointed in the sense in which you claimed? No. Tesco have lost every battle so far and I do not expect their losing streak to end with this slipshod application which has all the same problems as the other, failed applications before it.

Ruth Deyermond
Planning Co-ordinator
No Mill Road Tesco Campaign

Here is the original article:

Tesco poised to win Mill Road battle

TESCO is set to win its battle for Mill Road as its plans for air conditioning and a refrigeration unit are recommended for approval.

The planning application is the final hurdle for the company which first submitted plans for the former Wilco store in the popular Cambridge street last September.

It seeks permission to install three air conditioning units at the back of the shop and erect a refrigeration compound.

Tesco says the planning permission it already has for signs and a cash machine means it can open a store in Mill Road.

If the current application is granted by councillors on Thursday,July 31, work will start as soon as possible.

The site is currently occupied by squatters who have set up the Mill Road Social Centre but the supermarket giant has already secured a possession order which will force them to move before work starts.

Hundreds of objections to the plans have been received by Cambridge City Council but case officer Angela Briggs said the issue was not whether Tesco should open up on the street, but whether the application was in line with the rules.

In a report to councillors, Mrs Briggs wrote: “Despite being very aware of local concerns about the perceived implications of this development and the genuine concerns raised, I do not consider there to be good, clear cut and sound reasons for refusing the application for the condenser and the air conditioning plant and approval is therefore recommended.”

The No Mill Road Tesco campaign said it was disputing the acoustic report submitted with the application and also claimed the inclusion of a condition on delivery times conflicted with the report’s assertion that debates over car parking and deliveries were not relevant.

Ruth Deyermond, from the campaign, said: “We are obviously disappointed that they have recommended approval again.”

Michael Kissman, speaking on behalf of Tesco, said: “We are pleased with the recommendation and will now wait for the final decision.

“If the plans are approved we have got a team in place and can look at completing the work which needs to be done in the following weeks and months.”

Cambridge City Council’s east area committee will consider the application when it meets at St Philip’s Church, Mill Road on July 31 at 7.30pm.

Cambridge Evening News, 25th July 2008