Door shut on Tesco store plan

CONTROVERSIAL plans for a new convenience store in Walkley have been thrown out by councillors as "a Tesco too far."

Tuesday, 25th September 2007, 5:28 pm
Updated Wednesday, 26th September 2007, 5:05 pm

The supermarket giant's proposals for a store on the corner of Springvale Road and Howard Road led to more than 1,000 complaints that there wouldn't be enough parking and that pedestrians might be put at risk by cars driving in and out.

Tesco was seeking permission to build a single-storey store with four off-street parking spaces and two cycle spaces.

The firm said its plan would provide jobs for 30 part-time staff.

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But Sheffield Council West and North Planning and Highways Area Board refused, on the grounds that it could lead to an increase in on-street parking - putting the safety of road users at risk.

Officers said that the proposed design of the store was unsatisfactory and would be out of keeping with the area. They also said there would not be enough room for deliveries to be safely made.

Among those speaking against the plan was Sheffield Council's Liberal Democrat group leader Paul Scriven, who said: "There is a thriving shopping area there.

"My worry is that the vibrancy of the area will be undermined. Local jobs and businesses could be lost.

"This is a Tesco too far and will do nothing to support the community in Commonside."

He also said that the corner was the junction of five roads and there would be "traffic chaos" if the plan were approved.

Nick Wheeler, an agent for Tesco, said the site was derelict and untidy and the plan would bring it back into use.

He added that research had shown that around 50 per cent of people in the area didn't own a car and that most people would walk to the store.

But more than 1,000 residents signed a petition saying there was no need for another shop.

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The meeting heard that a retaining wall had already been built by Tesco on one corner of the plot, which one resident said was "a sign of their confidence" that they would get permission.

Voting for refusal Coun Peter Rippon said: "We should be supporting local shops for local people."

There have been several other aborted plans for the plot over the past few years. In 2003 planning permission was refused for eight study apartments providing around 30 bedrooms.

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