Supermarket turned down by councillors ... but told an appeal from Tesco is ‘inevitable’

Coun John Hesketh
Coun John Hesketh
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PLANS for a new Tesco superstore in south-east Sheffield have been rejected by councillors – on the basis the site in Halfway is needed for housing.

But committee chair Coun John Hesketh said an appeal against the decision by the retail giant was inevitable and added he would have been happier if the grounds for refusal had been stronger.

Tesco has been trying for months to persuade neighbours and councillors that the scheme for the site off Oxclose Park Road would benefit the local community.

Chris Hough, a planning consultant for Tesco, said the development would create 450 full-time and part time jobs, and pump £5.5 million of wages into the economy.

He said: “That is not including the impact of construction and spin-off orders to other businesses. And we would target jobs at local people, providing a major boost to the area at a time of recession. This would be a clear vote for jobs and investment.”

But Bob Rastrick of the Friends of Heathlands Park said 80 to 90 per cent of the responses to Tesco’s consultations had been ignored by the company, while the project would have serious effects on wildlife and child safety.

Campaigner Elaine Hinman submitted a 1,000-name petition against the plans and said the superstore would clearly be in the wrong place, in an area that had not been earmarked for retail development.

“The store should be built at Crystal Peaks or Drakehouse where there are already good public transport links.

“These plans would spoil the last green space in the whole area, an area that should be used for youth recreation.”

Several councillors expressed regret that the scheme was being turned down at a time when every job was precious.

Coun Mahzer Iqbal said: “This would have been a fantastic opportunity to create jobs and I am disappointed from that point of view.”

Coun Hesketh said he had no doubt that Tesco bosses would appeal against the decision, but said he was confident that the Planning Inspectorate would look closely at the proposals.