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Supermarket plans 'would have been refused'

PUBLISHED: 12:55 09 March 2010 | UPDATED: 09:24 01 August 2010

TWO competing supermarkets would have seen their rival Halesworth store proposals both earmarked for refusal by district planners, reports revealed this week.

TWO competing supermarkets would have seen their rival Halesworth store proposals both earmarked for refusal by district planners, reports revealed this week.

The news comes after Tesco and Anglia Regional Co-operative both lodged appeals against Waveney District council after the local authority had failed to make a decision on their plans months after both applications were submitted.

Anglia Regional Co-operative Society put in plans in February 2009 for an extension to its Halesworth Rainbow Foodstore and to demolish a petrol station.

It was followed in May by an application from rival Tesco to build a store on neighbouring land off Angel Link.

The delay over the decisions led the two supermarkets to lodge appeals for non-determination to the Planning Inspectorate.

The Tesco and Rainbow applications will be discussed at the district council's development control committee meeting on March 17 and it is recommended that the committee resolve that both applications would have been refused.

Reports about the two applications begin: “The purpose of this report is to inform the committee that the applicant has lodged an appeal against the non-determination of this application. The committee is asked to consider how it would have determined the application if no appeal had been lodged. It is recommended that the committee resolve that the application would have been refused…”

Officials said that if the local planning authority had the ability to determine the applications both would be refused.

A report about the Rainbow application says that it fails to meet planning policy and states: “In the opinion of the local planning authority there is a sequentially preferable site within the town centre and it has not been demonstrated that this site cannot be developed for retail use.”

The document adds: “The proposed demolition of the petrol station is contrary to the aim of achieving sustainable development and contrary to the core strategy vision of Halesworth becoming a more self-contained town.”

The report about the Tesco application says the proposal is contrary to the provisions of the adopted Waveney Local Plan and contrary to the emerging Local Development Framework.

Again the report says: “In the opinion of the local authority there is a sequentially preferable site within the town centre and it has not been demonstrated that this site cannot be developed for retail use.”

The document also says that the scale of the proposed development “would have an adverse impact on the vitality and viability of the town centre”.

A Waveney District Council spokesperson said the Planning Inspectorate would now decide the applications.

The spokesperson said: “Both of the supermarket applications have been the subject of appeals for non determination. A number of factors conspired to delay their determination but it was vital that the Planning Committee was provided with a clear, comprehensive picture of the current retail environment in and around Halesworth and officers were awaiting the results of an independent retail report.

“This means that Planning Inspectorate, acting on behalf of the Secretary of State, will decide the applications. As part of that process, the Local Planning Authority must submit information on the planning position regarding both of the applications. Members of the Development Control Committee are being asked to indicate what their decision would have been should they have had the applications put before them for consideration. The officer recommendation is that the committee resolve that the applications would have been refused. The outcome of the members decision will help inform the appeal.”

Tesco hit the headlines last week after planning councillors voted to refuse the retail chain's scheme close to Sheringham town centre, and backed a rival Greenhouse project on the outskirts, which also seeks to deliver an educational food academy and promote local food sourcing.

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