A RESIDENTS’ group has celebrated after Sainsbury’s lost an appeal against refusal of planning permission to extend a Sheffield store – but is preparing for a second battle to stop even larger expansion plans by a nearby Tesco.
The rival supermarket giants both have large branches in Millhouses, on either side of the railway, and both have proposed large extensions.
Residents say they are unhappy about the potential for extra traffic and the resulting impact on road safety and air quality.
Last year, Sheffield Council refused Sainsbury’s plans to extend their Archer Road store by 44 per cent and build a new multi-storey car park next to the supermarket.
The company appealed but the planning inspectorate has upheld the council’s decision after a public inquiry.
The inspector said: “I consider that the main issues in this case are the effect of the proposal on local air quality and the safety and convenience of highway users.”
He said the expanded store could attract up to 13 per cent more traffic – which would be unaccepteble when combined with that generated by plans for the expanded Tesco and development of retirement homes on the former Jacobs site, off Abbeydale Road.
Of particular concern was the impact of extra vehicles at the two junctions of Archer Road and Abbeydale Road, used by traffic entering and exiting Sainsbury’s, the inspector said.
He criticised Sainsbury’s and the council for failing to use ‘appropriate figures and modelling processes’ when considering the traffic implications of the application, and failing to take account of other impending developments when assessing traffic.
Mike Hodson, secretary of Carter Knowle and Millhouses Community Group, said: “We are delighted with the decision in this appeal, which has taken nearly two years of our time and much research to bring about victory. We hope that Sainsbury’s will now accept that they cannot ride roughshod over local people and local opinion, and that changes to their stores should be thoroughly discussed and agreed with local communities before plans are put before the planning authority.”
He added: “We now plan to fight the Tesco planning application for a broadly similar proposal currently sitting with the council planners, with very similar issues for our area and more widely.
“Given the inspector’s comments, it is difficult to see how the planning officers can recommend approval. We hope that Tesco will do the sensible thing and drop their proposal.”
Tesco is planning to expand its store on Abbeydale Drive, Millhouses, by 74 per cent, from 3,731 sq metres to 6,513 sq metres and more than 300 extra parking spaces, including an extension to the existing park and ride.
A decision is yet to be made by Sheffield Council on whether the scheme can go ahead.