Tesco developer to appeal plan refusal
DEVELOPERS wanting to build a new Tesco store in a North Cornwall town have said they will appeal after their scheme was rejected.
Cornwall Council's strategic planning committee on Thursday refused the application by the Catesby Property Group to build a Tesco store covering 3,719sq metres with a petrol station at Binhamy, Stratton.
The application also included seven holiday bungalows for disabled service personnel for the charity Help for Heroes.
The committee members, after hearing from Bude councillors and members of the public, refused the application by 13 votes to 6 on the grounds it would be detrimental to Bude town centre.
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Catesby announced its decision to appeal the following day, expressing its disappointment at the decision to disregard the advice of its officers and their independent retail adviser.
Catesby said their retail assessment, reviewed by council consultants, confirmed the proposed Tesco would not have a significant adverse impact on Bude town centre.
Furthermore, all three reports agreed the impact of the store on Bude town centre would be similar to the existing outline planning permission, which established the principle of retail-led development at Binhamy Farm.
A final decision will be made by an independent planning inspector.
Bude Cornwall councillor Nigel Pearce called on the committee to refuse the application.
He said the strategic planning committee refused an application on the same site for smaller retail units including a discount store.
Cornwall Council's own retail survey stated the negative impact on Bude town centre will be between 8 per cent and 27 per cent – enough to wipe out many retailers leaving shops empty.
"The 'Homes for Heroes' part of the application is cynical. Don't our servicemen deserve better than an apartment next to an out-of-town supermarket and petrol station two miles from the beaches and coastal walks and scenery?"
"Between 8 per cent and 27 per cent is the estimated reduction to sales on Bude town – the figure from our own retail survey – a very significant amount to lose," said Councillor Pearce.
"I have spent decades in the retail and wholesale sector to know the biggest myth is that jobs are created by a new supermarket opening."
Gallery owner Lynne Holehouse said the town would suffer.
Bude's variety of small, independent shops, a few chains and three large supermarkets was more than adequate for the needs of locals and visitors she said.
"Bude doesn't need another supermarket, especially such a large development directly opposite Morrisons," said Mrs Holehouse.
"I'm sure Tesco had the welfare of our war heroes at heart when proposing accommodation for them, but if I was an ex-serviceman needing respite, I wouldn't want to be sandwiched between a petrol station and a housing development," said Mrs Holehouse.
Bude-Stratton mayor Paula Dolphin and town councillors Julia Bryson and Lea Deely also spoke against the application.
Applicant Paul Brocklehurst said it would create 150 new jobs and would "not have an adverse impact on the town centre".