Proposed Tesco Express on the corner of School Road and The High Street
Victory for the Local Community and Common Sense
Inquiry Inspector's Decission
The Royal Borough’s determined stance against a new Tesco store at High Street, Sunninghill, has been backed by a planning inspector after a four-day public inquiry.
The supermarket giant appealed against Windsor development control panel’s decision in October 2008 to refuse a planning application to build an extension to the store at the corner of the High Street and School Road in the wake of strong objections from many local residents and businesses.
The inquiry last month heard from the borough and a wide range of other objectors, including Sunninghill and Ascot Parish Council, about the danger of additional traffic and the inadequacy of parking in the area as well as the additional noise that would be generated by a new store.
Now the planning inspector, David Hogger, has dismissed the Tesco appeal, saying that the council’s local plan provides an accurate assessment of the problems of parking and traffic congestion in the village and concluding that there is not enough parking in the area to serve the new store. There was also little spare parking nearby and that additional traffic generated by the new store would mean that many residents, many of them without off-street parking, would not be able to park. He advised that the council was right to require the level of parking that it did at the appeal.
Mr Hogger said that the new service access onto School Road would not meet the council's highway design standards. He was mindful that School Road is used by children walking to St Michael's School and concluded that the new access would not be safe. He also upheld the concerns expressed by the council and local residents about a doubling of noise levels from the new service area, which would have particular intrusive impact on the enjoyment of the neighbouring gardens.
Cllr Alison Knight, panel chairman and the council’s lead member for planning and development, said she was delighted by the news and thanked everyone who contributed, particularly local residents who had put in a tremendous amount of time and effort fighting the appeal
She said: “I'm particularly pleased for the people living near the proposed site as it would have affected them considerably. The council pulled out all the stops on this appeal and, working closely with local residents, put up a strong case which the inspector obviously found compelling.
“I really hope that in the light of this comprehensive defeat and the overwhelming opposition from local people, Tesco will reconsider its plans for stores in the area.”
This was Tesco’s third application for an extension to the convenience store on the site having twice been previously refused by the Royal Borough in July 2007 and June 2008.
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