Tesco planning application unanimously rejected

The Tesco planning application has been unanimously rejected by the St Albans city council. Phew. Tesco will appeal, of course, but at least they lost this stage.

I had not realised until today just how hideous the whole proposed store and its surroundings would be. A 3921 m2 store, which Tesco calls a food store but is expected to sell 28% non-food items, thus it is a superstore. The design is ghastly. But that is of course just one point among many. The application has been rejected on the following grounds:

1. Inappropriate scale, size, design (would not integrate into the area)
2. Loss of Locally Listed properties
3. Application does not adequately demonstrate site’s impact. Inadequate measures to provide access by public transport, on foot and by bicycle – i.e., it is essentially a car-based scheme. (By the way, does “the applicant” really think the locals will swallow that ‘Many people shop in surrounding towns rather than in St Albans’? But then supermarkets are not noted for their sensitivity to locals.)
4. The entrance gates would interfere with flow of traffic.
5. Would harm some adjacent residential areas (loss of daylight and sunlight) and and is thus contrary to several policies of the St Albans Local Plan.
6. Would harm some adjacent residential areas (noise and disturbance)
7. Insufficient detail about the risk of pollution to controlled waters
8. In the absence of financial contribution and provision towards green spaces etc. would harm existing community facilities.
9. Negative impact on the city centre
10. Decrease of air quality.

The last two points had actually not been included in the recommendation of various consultants, which is something I fail to understand. New store = more traffic, large store = a lot more traffic, a lot more traffic = a lot more air pollution. Crystal clear.

I would estimate that there were about 300 people in the audience and it was interesting to watch how everyone streamed out at the end, with copies of the agenda in their hands and strode purposefully home, to the utter bewilderment of several girls taking a smoking break outside a dance hall.

There is a webcast of the meeting at the St Albans City & District website.

I do not mean to turn this blog into a campaign noticeboard, but I consider this cause very important. (And I also got this story even before the StopTesco website, so this blog is bringing news.)

Enough of “real life” on this blog for now, back to photography, painting, physics, and archery.

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~ by veronikab on 30 June, 2008.

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