Tesco expansion plans rejected

PUBLISHED: 15:57 23 October 2008 | UPDATED: 09:52 10 June 2010

TESCO'S bid to expand was dealt a major blow when planning permission was refused this week. Planners at East Devon District Council's development control committee said the land could be better used to build offices creating higher-paid 'white collar'

TESCO'S bid to expand was dealt a major blow when planning permission was refused this week.Planners at East Devon District Council's development control committee said the land could be better used to build offices - creating higher-paid 'white collar' jobs, writes David Beasley.And planning officer Kate Little advised that more out-of-town shopping had the 'potential to damage the town centre' - and the Asda plan would be 'better' for the town.EDDC deputy leader Ray Franklin said: "This is all about Exmouth town centre's regeneration. I would urge members to resist the expansion of out-of-town shopping and back the (Asda) edge-of-town-centre development (on the estuaryside)."Economic development manager Nigel Harrison argued against the plans, despite the creation of 135 new jobs: "...the issue isn't simply one of quantity, but also of value."I would regard the potential loss of the Redgate land for office development as a very serious missed opportunity to bring higher value jobs to Exmouth."But Exmouth councillor Steve Wragg compared it with McDonald's, which was granted permission in 2002 on land with similar value.He said: "Sixty new jobs flipping burgers is okay, but 135 new jobs isn't. This is a major departure of policy."Cllr Anne Liverton, for the Raleigh Ward, said: "I get a little tired of jobs in Tesco being called 'nothing jobs'."They are essential to the people who have them... and a job from a large employer is often more secure than a job from a smaller business. "Each plan should be decided on its own merits, not because of other negotiations or development plans."Exmouth's Cllr Mark Williamson said: "I don't make the distinction between the worth of one job over the worth of another."They are trying to make 135 new jobs and retail provides employment opportunities." Cllr Ken George added: "We are talking about Tesco drawing the lifeblood out of the town - but what about Asda drawing the lifeblood out of the town?"The Tesco plan was rejected by a vote of nine to three.

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