As construction gradually (and slightly shambolically) gets underway on the planned site for Tesco (remember, at the moment it’s just the landlord working on the site, not Tesco), here’s a little thought.
In the national planning policy framework, it says this:
“26. When assessing applications for retail, leisure and office development outside of town centres, which are not in accordance with an up-to-date Local Plan, local planning authorities should require an impact assessment if the
development is over a proportionate, locally set floorspace threshold (if there is no locally set threshold, the default threshold is 2,500 sq m).This should include assessment of:
●● the impact of the proposal on existing, committed and planned public and private investment in a centre or centres in the catchment area of the proposal; and
●● the impact of the proposal on town centre vitality and viability, including local consumer choice and trade in the town centre and wider area, up to five years from the time the application is made. For major schemes where the full impact will not be realised in five years, the impact should also be assessed up to ten years from the time the application is made.
27. Where an application fails to satisfy the sequential test or is likely to have significant adverse impact on one or more of the above factors, it should be refused.”
Of course, because it’s a pub, in theory these factors don’t come into play, but it just goes to show – the supermarket on Warley Hill will be over 5,000 sq ft – double the recommended size at which the store would simply be refused had it been a new building in the same location.
And your local friendly Tory administration were all for it.