September 1, 2006
council leader says Tesco expansion decision is 'no surprise'
leader of Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge Town Council says the
controversial government decision on Friday (September 1st) to
turn down Tesco's bid to expand its store is 'not a surprise'.
an interview with Burnham-On-Sea.com, Peter Clayton (pictured)
has not come as a shock to me. I have been involved in this area
for nearly 20 years and it was always the case that it should
have a few small community shops, such as a post office and newsagent,
and it is not government policy to provide out-of-town shopping
stores of this size."
years ago, there were applications from companies such as Safeway
to provide supermarkets of this size and they were all refused
under planning guidelines. To do a u-turn at this stage would
have been a very strange stance to take and would be unfair to
the previous applicants."
added: "Clearly, times change and developments grow which
one day might change the thinking of planning officials. At this
moment in time the Burnham area local plan has not been changed
to address this and it may be as long as another 10 years before
there is a need to reassess the situation in this area."
am aware there is very strong local feeling towards expanding
the store and I am sorry so many people will be disappointed.
From experience, it would seem that when an application of this
size gets to government level an inspector will normally stick
to planning law rather than listen to local views."
refusal to allow Tesco to expand will also impact on the completion
of the Frank Foley Parkway and I fear it could be some years now
before we see any movement on that front. I think it is now even
more important we put as much pressure on Somerset County Council
to spend the money they have collected to complete this road instead
of spending the money on an improved bus service that very few
if any use."
expect the management of Tesco will also be very disappointed
and I can understand their disappointment in the light of the
decision to allow Asda to create a 40,000 sq ft superstore on
an edge of town site in Highbridge."
I have been involved in planning for quite some time it never
ceases to amaze me that rules are rules 'sometimes' however, having
said that, every application has to be looked at on its own merits
and I can see that with the rapid expansion of Highbridge a good
quality supermarket could be needed."
am aware, however, that the market site has permission for mixed
use and I am surprised this site was not used instead of a more
out of town position in Springfield Road."
Tesco store's expansion bid is