The latest application for what was the proposed Tesco site in Grafton Way
was before the planners, giving the opportunity for another retailer to
develop the site. The proposals were for a smaller mixed retail store, two
hotels and 14 residential units. However, the application was withdrawn
just before the December Planning meeting, possibly in the light of the
Officers' recommendation for refusal.
The grounds were that this speculative development would have undermined the
viability of the Central Shopping Area and that the applicant (Spenhill,
Tesco's agent) had not demonstrated that a new store would not serve the
town better on the Civic Centre site. Tesco's current permission, though
granted, has never had its section 106 agreements signed and it expires at
the end of February 2015 (an additional year was granted because the process
was subject to a judicial review). I'm keeping my fingers crossed but I am
optimistic we shall get a better solution for this riverside site.
Cover, issue 194