CEN article: Lobby urges councillors to scupper Tesco plans

CAMPAIGNERS against plans by Tesco to open up in Cambridge’s Mill Road are urging councillors to refuse the supermarket giant’s latest application tonight.

The company’s plans for air conditioning and a refrigeration unit are the final hurdle in its battle to open an Express store on the street, famed for its mix of independent retailers.

A campaign against the supermarket’s venture has been running since last September and hundreds of objection letters have been sent to Cambridge City Council.

But planning officers have recommended the scheme be approved and councillors will make the final decision tonight.

The No Mill Road Tesco campaign is urging members of the East Area Committee to vote against the recommendation.

Ruth Deyermond, planning coordinator for the No Mill Road Tesco campaign, said: “There is simply no sound basis for approval of this application.

“If you think that issues such as road safety, traffic congestion, and the impact on local residents are relevant, which the planning guidance says they are, then the application needs to be refused.

“But even if you agreed with the planning officer that only the direct impacts of the air conditioning and refrigeration units are relevant then the application would still have to be refused on planning grounds.

“Tesco’s acoustic report is the only evidence on which the planners are asking the councillors to judge the application, and it simply doesn’t stand up to even the most basic scrutiny.”

Sonia Cooter, campaign coordinator, added: “We were expecting the council’s planning department to recommend approval, but the poor quality of the report has surprised us.

“We are urging everyone in the Mill Road area to come along to the East Area Committee meeting on Thursday, 31 July at 7.30pm in St Philip’s Church, Mill Road, and let our councillors know – this is not acceptable.”

Speaking when the approval advice was announced, Tesco’s Michael Kissman said: “We are pleased with the recommendation. 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 Evening News, 31st July 2008

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