Burnham-On-Sea, Somerset

July 28, 2005
Tesco's expansion of its Burnham store put on hold as inquiry begins

Tesco's plans to expand its Burnham-On-Sea store have been dealt a blow after it emerged that a full inquiry into the proposals is to be launched.

Burnham-On-Sea Tesco supermarketAt a meeting of the district council's Development and Control Committee this week, the decision to 'call in' the supermarket giant's plans and launch the inquiry was announced.

Burnham residents will therefore once again have a chance to air their views about the controversial proposals - and feed them back to the Government of the South West, a body linked to The Office of The Deputy Prime Minister.

The decision comes amid concern from some local people that the decision earlier in the year by district councillors to give the plans the green light is not in the best interests of the area.

"The Sanders Garden World expansion plans were also called in and that inquiry has been ongoing for many months now. If that's repeated again here, it could mean that Tesco's expansion could be stalled for several months," said town councillor Cllr Peter Clayton.

Once the public has had its chance to air views, the Office of The Deputy Prime Minister will decide whether to give the scheme the go-ahead.

This latest twist in the long-running story comes after the supermarket giant bowed to pressure earlier in the year and made several concesssions to win the backing of planners.

"Tesco made considerable alterations to their original plans and these were felt sufficient for the proposal to be passed by the district council," said Cllr Louise Parkin at the time.

The proposal includes a bigger shop floor area, a larger servicing area, and a mezzanine floor comprising a café and staff offices. This would be created by a substantial 2,368 square metrec extension, resulting in a new store measuring 4,817 square metres.

Tesco had agreed to accept a condition which would restrict durable goods such as clothing, electrical goods, toys, CDs, DVDs, videos, sports goods, kitchenware, household goods, and furniture to 25% of the total floorspace.

The decision to give the green light to the store's expansion plans in March had come after more than a year's heated debate in which some residents claimed the expanded store would better meet the needs of shoppers in the area, while others said the expansion would hit the trade of shops on Burnham's high street.

A petition was submitted to the district council by Tesco in support of the application, signed by 6,328 customers, which was one of the largest numbers of signatures they had ever collected in the UK for a store extension.


Tesco gets the go-ahead to expand Burnham store

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