Tesco changes not backed

TWO planning applications related to the the planned Tesco Express in Rolle Street, for a cash point and new shop front, have not been backed by town planners.

TWO planning applications related to the the planned Tesco Express in Rolle Street, for a cash point and new shop front, have not been backed by town planners.

At the town hall's planning committee on Monday the applications at the site of the old Job Centre on 4-6 Rolle Street were recommended for refusal.

Because the site was previously a supermarket Tesco do not need to seek permission for change of use, which would subject them to town hall scrutiny.

However Tesco have had to apply for an alcohol licence and do need permission to make superficial changes to the shop front, which includes a cash point.


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But town councillors said that they had doubts about the two applications, and were also concerned that permission for change of use was not needed.

When the previous supermarket, Gateway, was open delivery vehicles accessed the store at the rear of the property.

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However since then the area has been transformed into the caf� quarter and several disabled parking spaces have been added.

Deputy Mayor Sandy Sutton said: "I think things have changed and EDDC should recognise that."

Concerns were also expressed about plans for blue opaque glass on the shop front and Cllr Richard Turner said: "Just because they have a corporate image does not mean that the town council has to fall in with that."

Town manager Tony Collins said: "I do believe that with the investment planned for the Strand in 2010, and the recent updating of the shop front design guidance that more attention could be paid to the underlying aspirations of the town to uplift the quality town centre shop fronts.

"I would urge Tesco stores to take a look at this and ensure they are playing their part in adding as much value as possible to this process. The current proposal could be improved."

Cllr Ian Stewart initially recommended approval for the shop front, but changed his mind when realising if they recommended approval and then made suggestions on how to improve the shop front, they were likely to be ignored.

Cllr Madeline Chapman said: "I don't think there is anything in planning law that says they have to improve on tackiness after approval is given."

Cllr Steve Gazzard also recommended refusing the planned ATM on the corner of Rolle Street: "We have already got five cash points in Rolle Street, why do we need another one?"

Cllr Sutton agreed and said the corner was very busy: "It could cause an obstruction."

Cllr Stewart added: "The area is fast turning into a banking quarter."

The plans will now be considered by district planners.

Ends

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