Archive for November 2008

Cambridge Cycling Campaign interviewed on lorry issue

A spokesperson from Cambridge Cycling Campaign was interviewed on BBC Radio Cambs today on the issue of the lorry delivery proposals. They welcomed the decision.

We welcome their support, though we recognise of course that they have no view on the kinds of issues relating to independent traders that we have.

CEN article: Tesco appeals dismissed over Mill Road store

TWO appeals by supermarket giant Tesco for permission to build an extension as part of plans to open a store in Cambridge’s Mill Road have been dismissed.

The company had wanted to build a single-storey extension at the back of the former Wilco store and install plant equipment. 

The application was made along with proposals for a shop front, ATM and two signs. 

But while Cambridge City Council approved two of Tesco’s planning applications, it rejected the proposed extension and installation of refrigeration equipment. 

Tesco appealed against the refusal of planning permission. It also lodged an appeal on the grounds of non-determination. 

A four-day hearing was held at the beginning of October and now planning inspector David Nicholson has dismissed both appeals. 

He concluded the servicing options for the store would “pose unacceptable risks to highway safety”. Sonia Cooter, co-ordinator of the No Mill Road Tesco campaign, said: “We are very happy. 

“The planning inspector quite comprehensively ruled out any safe delivery options. It’s up to Tesco now to decide whether they want to go any further. 

“We are delighted that the planning inspector realised just how dangerous it would be to deliver to the site.” 

Martin Lucas-Smith, co-ordinator of Cambridge Cycling Campaign, who gave evidence at the public inquiry, said: “Cambridge Cycling Campaign is delighted to hear that Tesco’s ridiculous proposals for deliveries directly from Mill Road or by sending large lorries down the narrow streets of Romsey have been comprehensively and unequivocally thrown out by the Government inspector. 

“We objected to the plans and the Government inspector has accepted the evidence we put forward at the public inquiry that cyclists and indeed everyone else using Mill Road would be badly affected by Tesco’s delivery proposals. 

“We hope now that Tesco will stop wasting taxpayers’ money and everyone’s time, and withdraw their second appeal, in which exactly the same issues apply.”

A statement released by Tesco read: “We are obviously extremely disappointed by this decision. We will be considering the report and looking at our options. 

“However, we still remain committed to Mill Road and think that a Tesco Express will add to the vibrancy of the area. We now await the Inquiry date for air conditioning and refrigeration plant.”

Cambridge Evening News, 12/11/2008


Breaking news: Tesco have LOST their first appeal (and the associated non-determination appeal) for the Mill Road site.

The Inspector concluded:

“I find that both of the realistically available servicing options would pose unacceptable risks to highway safety, which would not be outweighed by benefits or the fallback position. I therefore conclude that both appeals should be dismissed.”

Read the full Appeal decision letter from the Government Inspector.

It remains to be seen if Tesco will pursue their second appeal (for an application to instal plant with no extension).

For now, though, we would like to thank everyone who has made this possible. Thank you if you came on the march, wrote letters of objection, emailed your councillors, formed part of our human lorry, trudged around delivering leaflets and posters or just spoke to people about Tesco’s plans. This campaign has been a huge community effort and everyone’s contribution has been vital.

Have a look at the new counter on the right-hand side of this page to see how many days we as a community have so far managed to keep Tesco off Mill Road!

Tesco’s second appeal

As you may know, Tesco has appealed against the Council’s decision in July 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 a month ago), so the outcome of this appeal won’t depend in any way on the outcome of the previous appeal.

This means that there will be a second public inquiry, which will be held at some point in 2009. As with the inquiry into the original application, we have all been invited to give our written comments to the planning inspector. The deadline for comments is 11 November (Tuesday of next week).

Some suggested grounds for objection to the application in July can be found at:

Since this is the application that is now being appealed, these objections still stand. It is worth noting that at the last public inquiry (into the application for an extension and air conditioning and refrigeration plant) Tesco confirmed that a store would not be viable unless they could use 10.35 metre lorries to make some of their daily deliveries. This means that if this application for plant is approved then Tesco will definitely use these large vehicles.

Tesco will try to argue that this is just a bit of air conditioning and refrigeration equipment so that issues such as deliveries, parking, and waste and other storage issues are irrelevant. It would be a good idea to mention in your letter (and in your own words) that:

The refrigeration and air conditioning plant is necessary for Tesco to open a store on this site, so any issue relating to the impact of the proposed store on neighbouring homes or on traffic congestion and road safety is directly relevant to the application. This is because approving the application would cause these effects by allowing the store to open. If the store cannot open, these effects will not occur. As a result, they should be considered as part of this appeal.

Please remember that it is not likely to be the same planning inspector as last time, so they will not be familiar with the case or the campaign. That means we need to explain, all over again, what the problems are with a Tesco store on this site (delivery impacts on road safety and traffic congestion in particular).

You can submit comments online at:

or send 3 hard copies of your objections to:

The Planning Inspectorate,
3/16 Eagle Wing
Temple Quay House
2 The Square
Temple Quay
Bristol BS1 6PN

The Planning Reference for this appeal is 08/0794/FUL
Land at 163-167 Mill Road, Cambridge
PI Ref – APP/Q0505/A/08/2085159/NWF

(Please be aware that if you submit your comments through the planning portal, any personal information you include (such as contact details) will be visible to anyone who choses to read your objection online.)

Next steps

The inspector’s report should come out at the end of November. We will report when we have more information.

Tesco also have a second appeal pending. Again, we will report when we have more information.

Thank you for your support.