January 13, 2009
Burnham-On-Sea Tesco store given approval to expand
proposals to expand Burnham-On-Sea's Tesco supermarket were given
the go-ahead by council planners on Tuesday (January 13th).
of Sedgemoor District Council's Development Control Committee
decided to approve the plans to add an extra 1,200 square metres
of shopping space and double the number of parking spaces at the
store in Ben Traver's Way, pictured above.
exclusively reported last
week how the application has prompted fears among businesses
in Burnham town centre that plans for a new shuttle bus service
to take shoppers to the store may 'suck trade out of the town'
and even threaten the future of Somerfield on the seafront.
was discussed at Tuesday's meeting, and the plans for a shuttle
bus service have now been put on hold with the £100,000
of funding that was earmarked towards it being directed towards
the regeneration of Burnham town centre instead.
of Trade Chairman Alex Turco aired his concerns about the bus
service during Tuesday's meeting, in addition to local district
councillors Councillor Neville Jones and Councillor Danny Titcombe.
Neville Jones described the expansion of the store "a blow
to Burnham" that would be "detrimental to the vitality
and viability of the town centre."
told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "Given the financial climate, this
is no time to embrace a scheme that might suck trade out of the
studies have shown the expansion of Sanders Garden World could
hurt the town centre by £400,000 a year, while the Tesco
expansion could hit trade at Somerfield on the seafront by £530,000
per year. At the same time, town centre businesses will lose £275,000
of trade, so the overall picture is bleak."
that business rates are also due to rise by 30 per cent next year,
there could be difficult times ahead."
plans for a bus service would have hovered up any trade that was
remaining, so to see the £100,000 of funding which was earmarked
towards this service being redirected into regeneration is a small
crumb of consolation."
Bob Filmer, who chaired Tuesday's meeting, added: "We had
a long debate in which many concerns were aired. However, as this
application from Tesco is smaller, and the building would be far
more in keeping with the surrounding area than previous planning
applications, there was more support for it. The amount and type
of goods that can be sold in the store has also been restricted."
councillors agreed, however, that the bus service would have taken
people from the town to Tesco, rather than be a service for the
benefit of the town, and this was why the money earmarked for
it will be directed towards regeneration instead."
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