Delays over store plans

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DECISIONS on two controversial supermarket expansions in south Sheffield will not be known for at least four months.

City planners shelved an application to extend Tesco superstore off Abbeydale Road until the summer.

The scheme was due to be considered by councillors on Monday but council planning boss Phil Abbott postponed discussion of the plan until a public inquiry is completed on the expansion of the nearby Archer Road Sainsbury’s store.

Both expansions have been fiercely opposed by residents in the Millhouses, Abbeydale and Carterknowle areas.

Councillors refused planning permission for the Sainsbury’s plan last year but the company’s appeal will be considered by a government inspector at Sheffield Town Hall on June 14.

Once the inspector’s decision is known, in July or later, councillors will discuss the Tesco application.

The Tesco plan is opposed by nearly 650 residents, Carterknowle and Millhouses Action Group, the Friends of Millhouses Park and ward councillors Sylvia Dunkley and Mike Reynolds.

The developers behind the £600 million Sevenstone retail quarter are concerned a bigger Tesco could compete with the city centre, while Dr Jeremy Wight, Sheffield’s Director of Public Health, has objected because of the effect on air quality.

But 369 people wrote in to support the scheme, welcoming the prospect of more jobs, choice and competition.

Meanwhile, ASDA has claimed overwhelming backing for its plan for a superstore off Beighton Road East at Drakehouse, near Crystal Peaks. The firm says more than 95 per cent of visitors at a public exhibition supported the scheme.

Property communications manager Philip Bartram said: “It’s hugely encouraging to know that we’re on the right track with our plans.”