Tesco's application to expand its Burnham-On-Sea store has been given the go-ahead after the company made several key changes to its proposal.
The supermarket giant's concesssions won the backing of councillors at a Sedgemoor District Council planning meeting on Tuesday March 8th.
"Tesco made considerable alterations to their original plans and these were felt sufficient for the proposal to be passed by the district council," said Burnham's Mayor Louise Parkin. "Most people wanted the expansion, but it will upset some - you can't please everyone."
The basic proposal remained unchanged from that previously considered by the Planning Committee, namely a substantial (2,368 sq. m.) extension, resulting in a new store measuring 4,817 sq. m. gross (3,283 sq. m. net).
also includes a new bulk store and servicing area and a mezzanine floor
comprising a café and staff offices and restaurant.
The revised scheme differs in the following ways:
The access into the site has been relocated further away from the existing
houses on Olivier Close and increased landscaping has been introduced
between the access and these houses.
As part of the discussion on the revised scheme it has been agreed that the scheme would provide for improvements to the Love Lane roundabout and the access into the site has been re-designed, bringing it slightly further west, but not as far as was proposed in the originally submitted scheme.
This has enabled the bus lay-by to be reinstated and has resulted in improved road-crossing facilities and a better alignment for the cycleway.
The proposal still provides for landscaped open space area to the rear of 13-15 Ashcott Place and between the servicing area and the existing play area, although this has been reduced in size.
Tesco has also agreed to accept a condition which would restrict durable (as opposed to comparison) goods expenditure to 25% of the total floorspace (i.e. 1204 sq. m.). This is still a substantial increase on the current provision which is 15% for comparison goods (these are a wider range).
Durable goods are defined as clothing, electrical goods, toys, CDs, DVDs, videos, sports goods, kitchenware, household goods, and furniture. All of these goods are available in Burnham town centre where shops selling these (and other) goods total 6,220 sq. m., although of this 2,790 sq. m. comprises 12 shops selling furniture, carpets and textiles (according to a 2003 Report).
The decision to give the green light to the store follows over a year of heated debate.
Those in favour say the larger store will better meet the needs of shoppers while those against claim the expansion could hit the trade of shops along Burnham's high street.
The news also comes after a poll on Burnham-On-Sea.com earlier in the year found most residents were in favour of the proposals.
A petition was also submitted to the council by Tesco in support of the application, signed by 6,328 customers visiting their Burnham-On-Sea store. This was one of the largest numbers of signatures they had ever collected for a store extension.