The leader of Norwich City Council has accused Green and Liberal Democrat councillors of costing the city hundreds of jobs, after plans for a new Asda superstore were dramatically rejected.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

Asda had hoped to build a new store at the old Bally Shoe Factory site, near Tuckswood, along with a gym, pub, community centre, 334-space car park and other shops, creating an estimated 400 jobs.

But members of the city council’s planning committee yesterday decided to refuse permission for the development, off Hall Road, by the narrowest of margins – five votes to four.

Green councillor Stephen Little proposed that the scheme be turned down on the grounds that the 5,796 sq m superstore was too dominant for a district centre, the plans did not make best use of a brownfield site, protected trees would be removed, pedestrian access was not good enough and the car park was too dominant.

His three fellow Greens and Liberal Democrat Caroline Ackroyd agreed, which was enough to outvote the four Labour councillors at the meeting.

Two Labour councillors who are normally on the committee, were not present.

Brenda Arthur, leader of Norwich City Council, on learning of the decision after the meeting, said she was furious the opportunity had been missed,

She said: “I am so disappointed that some members of the committee cannot understand the imperative we have in this city to encourage jobs.

“This was an ideal opportunity and it has been voted down. I cannot understand their thinking. The Greens and the Liberal Democrats have turned down 400 jobs.”

Council officers had conceded the plans went against the authority’s own policies, with the superstore “disproportionately large” for a district centre, and certain elements, such as the pedestrian access, not ideal,

They said councillors had to balance their decision with the other economic and community benefits the development would bring.

But Green councillors made clear their opposition, arguing they were reluctant to give the go-ahead for a car-focused scheme simply because Asda were promising jobs and for work to start next year.

David Rogers, Green councillor for Nelson ward, who likened the design of the proposed Asda to ‘Homebase sheds not put together properly’, said: “Do we take a short term view, that the money is on the table and Asda could build it now, or should we take a wider view about consumption, ripping things out of the ground and making people fat?

“If you look at the latest satellite pictures of the North Pole you can see the ice shrinking in front of your eyes. We should not be encouraging projects like this, which burn up fuel.”

Lucy Howard, Green councillor for Mancroft, agreed the plans were a “quick fix”, but questioned the sustainability of the scheme, including whether Asda would stock local produce or pay a living wage to workers.

And Mr Little, Green councillor for Town Close ward. said: “I am not objecting to this because it’s a supermarket. I live in the area and do take the point that cheap food can assist people on low incomes and it is more sustainable than driving to Tesco. “If we approve this we will go against our own policy, but I think it could come back in a better form. It’s crucial we make full use of brownfield sites.

“There is a argument that we need to just do it anyway to get the economy going, but I do not want to emerge from the recession with a poorly planned city.”

Mike Stonard, Labour councillor for Catton Grove, said: “I hear what people are saying about wanting a sustainable development and reducing food miles, but when you look at the circumstances of people living in the vicinity, these are people who are not well off.

“These are not people who can afford to buy organic food in Unthank Road. This is about communities that desperately need jobs and affordable food.”

After the plans were rejected, a spokesman for Asda said the company was “extremely disappointed”.

He said: “The development, overall, would have created up to 400 new jobs in a deprived area of the city and helped to regenerate a site which has been derelict for years.

“Our plans not only included a new Asda store, but also featured a brand new community centre, business start up units, a family pub, a sports facility - which could have been used by local groups and a woodland walk area.

“This development was a “shovel ready” project that could have commenced next year, creating further employment in the construction supply chain.”

It is understood Asda is mulling over whether to appeal the decision.

50 comments

  • the few against asda builing here are the selfish ones who live near it.they vote green to keep cars and asda at bay. asda sell reasonbable and decent food.in a recession theres no room for snobs.theres a foodbank in the city cos folk cannot manage.

    Report this comment

    bookworm

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • Brenda's 'disappointed that some members of the committee cannot understand the imperative we have in this city to encourage jobs'. Maybe she should be more disappointed two of her members didn't think it was important enough of a decision to even show up...

    Report this comment

    LevYashin

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • We need more homes and NOT more Supermarkets.With talk of building 45 Thousand houses mostly on green belt land,here is an opportunity to reduce this

    Report this comment

    Albert Cooper

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • crazy decision.. Lets not forget about the additional pollution created by people travelling to the 1 ASDA and trying to park in the over subscribed car park. Lets leave it as a nasty brownfield site rather than moving forward.. Well done idiot council.. Can we also leave Anglia square how it is...

    Report this comment

    Bygravey

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • As an example of ethics just look at the East of England Co-Op just down Hall Rd. A local shop, owned by its members, with just a few car parking spaces. It sells fair trade and has a local sourcing initiative and a regional investment fund.

    Report this comment

    oldowl

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • I really need a new shell suit and I'm too fat to get to the other Asda!

    Report this comment

    DocOhNo

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • This is a disgracefull decision. Who's to blame? Well whoever voted the green party onto our council. 400 jobs down the pan coz its too big ! Get real! This is a scaled down plan than what targetfollow had in mind as they were putting 400 flats on it too! But I do seem to remember the parking was going to be underground. I would appeal especially as two labour councillors weren't there to vote in favour.

    Report this comment

    Steve Leighton

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • What a surprise: Labour and the stupid "we must have jobs and growth no matter what" lobby decide to have a go at the Green Party. Well done to the Council for turning down this scheme.

    Report this comment

    DrJB

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • Local is good. Imagine it is MILES fresher and MILES better. For example, 76% of apples consumed in the UK are from abroad. As a result 60% of the UK's orchards have been grubbed up in the past 30 years. Now your apple could have travelled thousands of miles .We lose genetic diversity as interesting old varieities are not cultivated. We lose the interesting landscape and related wildlife such as mistletoe and birds. We lose local jobs and culture. Now I could go on and on about so much that has been lost and is in danger from the idea that local is worse.

    Report this comment

    oldowl

    Sunday, September 23, 2012

  • The Green Party and Lib Dems are a BIG Joke I thought they wanted people working instead they turn down over 400 jobs. Where is the logic in that?

    Report this comment

    sibs Wesley

    Wednesday, September 26, 2012

  • I agree with turning it down, Norwich residents forever have to put up with supermarkets attracting traffic and pollution into the City. Hall road is small for the traffic it caries, all day long and if the lower part south of the outer ring road, is further congested, the effect on the ring road would be more congestion. The massive carparks already in existence are standing empty most of the time, will we have another massive car park? will there be parking charges introduced for all supermarket parking? it should be.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • Why do so many of you buy into these sensationalist headlines?!?! Planning permission was turned down because it doesn't adhere to the councils planning policy. Simple. Seriously people, look at the bigger picture and dont just buy into the headlines.

    Report this comment

    Crazy

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • i cant see how it would hurt the city at all if it had been Tescos bet they would have got planning permission they seem to put stores where they like we need more asdas about

    Report this comment

    jezbmw

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • Oh and if these councillors were at all swayed by Chapelfield throwing their toys out of the pram about the competition - well, Chapelfield should be reminded about fair competition and not creating a monopoly. All's fair in love and retail wars.

    Report this comment

    norfolkdumpling

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • So how does this work? People wake up one morning and say "Oh I must start stuffing my face more because there is a new supermarket in the vicinity" I don't think so. If ASDA open then you will have other supermarkets and, frighteningly, little shops having less shoppers. Why don't people who like shopping at ASDA (I don't it is scary with those huge high stacked shelves full of processed muck) go to the one in the North of the City. I have managed to avoid it for years quite happily.

    Report this comment

    alecto

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • It is my understanding that the reasons at least 2 of the councillors that couldn't attend and vote were unavoidable, and they support of the development. If you support this development please like and share this Facebook page to show your support and hopefully Asda will appeal and be successful https:www.facebook.compagesHarford-Place-Development111593162327373

    Report this comment

    BluePeanut

    Saturday, September 22, 2012

  • It's these out of town supermarkets which are driving the high-street under. ASDA might bring 400 jobs (which i doubt, businesses tend to say that just to rally support, they have not legal incentive to keep that promse) but local businesses tend to suffer, ultimately losing people more jobs, and losing better jobs at that. I've seen it happen before all over the country. Besides don't you guys already have a ASDA with a big car park? I can't help but think there's a lot of recreational moaning in the comments sections here, the kinds of people who would still kick up a fuss if the greens and libdems would have agreed to the planning proposal.

    Report this comment

    Christopher Were

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • I agree with Albert Cooper. Let homes be built on this site and leave the agricultural land to grow food for the many supermarkets in the city to sell

    Report this comment

    jennifer jane

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • How incredibly short-sighted. Do the Green Party think that we can live on fresh air? We need jobs in Norwich and quickly. The construction of this building would create employment, even before Asda and the other shopsgymcafe opened. The Evening News reported only the other day that 600 people had competed for 150 jobs - that should send out a message to this councillors that people are desperate to work. Wake up and smell the coffee Green Party - environmental ideals are all well and good in a perfect world, but we are in a recession and there is no room for ideals.

    Report this comment

    norfolkdumpling

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • Ridiculus thinking by the Green Party, it's a superstore of course there will be a large car park, do they expect people to carry a trolley full of shopping home on a bike ? It's time for the Greens to stop living in their organic cacoons and start understanding what real life is like for families in Norwich. However, I also agree with previous poster, this wouldn't have happened if the all of the Labour members of planning committee had shown up....

    Report this comment

    earth monkey

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • typical behaviour from the greens whose wealthy supporters can afford to drive to out of town supermarkets leaving poorer people living in the city out of reach of cheap food oulets

    Report this comment

    blister

    Sunday, September 23, 2012

  • Very stupid decussion from the city council having said that labour can hardly put the blame on the greens &libs if members of thier own party can't be bothered to turn up to vote show's what sort of commitment they have to thier voters

    Report this comment

    BNP4GB

    Saturday, September 22, 2012

  • What a surprise - the Green Party extending it's anti-car policy out of the inner city. They won't be happy until we're all back using horse & carts. "making people fat" - what an incredibly naive statement. It's about giving people a choice of shopping in the local area.

    Report this comment

    So_Many_Haters!

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • What a stupid decision,lots of people who live here have to bus to the other supermarkets or walk,lots of mothers with children at school would be grateful for this.Lots of people cant afford to shop in local shops,they are far to expensive.

    Report this comment

    foxey

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • I really doubt the 400 jobs claim, as most people would have been shopping elsewhere, I suspect the jobs at Asda would be at the expense of jobs with other local retailers, meaning that the net job creation is actually zero. There is a real lack of shopping provision in this part of the city and the bus service to the centre is very poor, so I think there is a real need for this district centre, particularly to serve Tuckswood and Eaton Rise which are both miles from any existing shops. Unfortunately the Bally site is not ideal and shows a misunderstanding of the area. Better surely for the Council to redevelop the existing but very small Tuckswood centre as a real district centre for Tuckswood and Eaton Rise and to support strengthen the role of the post office, chemist, existing library, school, church and community facilities that is already there. There is enough land. Time for the Council to wake up and do some proper planning..! Bally would make a good housing or employment site instead.

    Report this comment

    barnabas

    Monday, September 24, 2012

  • If it had been Tesco they would have allowed it. 400 jobs is a lot of work. It just goes to show how out of touch these Green councillors are. Still, with luck they'll get their comeuppance at the next election!

    Report this comment

    Freddie Morris

    Saturday, September 22, 2012

  • So sorry Brenda but you cannot shed tears if it exceeds your own size limits and if your own councillors do not turn up, maybe you thought it was a done deal!

    Report this comment

    blackdog2

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • The reason that we have lost local pubs, butchers, greengrocers, petshops, post offices , newsagents and others is because local people dont want to shop in them. This idea that local is good and national is bad makes no sense. Where local businesses offer a good service and a professional attitude they can do well, but the reality is that most of them are dire compared to the big boys, who are big because they are good at what they do. The Green party refusing an Asda store in Norwich will have no effect on the planets future, but it will affect local people who want the benefits of retail competition on their bills and the opportunity to earn money.

    Report this comment

    Abraham

    Saturday, September 22, 2012

  • Hall Road is wide and has fast moving traffic serving the small industrial and shopping estates along it, and commuters into central Norwich from South Norfolk. Let's see the ASDA mark 2 version.Having to traffic calm this road would have led to more congestion.

    Report this comment

    bedoomed

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • Only an arrogant dinosaur would claim that the Green Party are "out of touch." Fossil fuels are finite and we need to build a sustainable furure. This edge of city development will suck the life out of Norwich South and local villages. We have lost enough pubs, butchers, pet shops, greengrocers, post offices and newsagents. Get a life and tell 'em to get stuffed! You all know the price but don't know the cost.

    Report this comment

    oldowl

    Saturday, September 22, 2012

  • A strange decision by Norwich City Council. In these recessionary times there cannot be many firms lining up to develop the site and create 400 jobs. Clearly they prefer to let the site remain as a blot on the landscape.

    Report this comment

    dancer7

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • All planning applications should reflect the planning policies that are supported by the long-term vision and culture of residents. No matter how big or small the applicant is. Tesco bullied their way against the local wishes to build their shop on Unthank Road, they bullied in Sheringham. No new jobs are made; they just employ the same people made redundant from browbeaten local shops -- i.e. those previously run by local people and keeping profits local. We are all glad that Norwich did not suffer the awful devastation of the 60's planningbuilding boom suffered by many other cities. Its not just spurious claims of jobs we must consider: its the resulting environment that our kids, culture and future generations inherit from these decisions. Big business must play by our rules not the other way round!!!

    Report this comment

    Lise

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • crazy decision.. Lets not forget about the additional pollution created by people travelling to the 1 ASDA and trying to park in the over subscribed car park. Lets leave it as a nasty brownfield site rather than moving forward.. Well done idiot council.. Can we also leave Anglia square how it is...

    Report this comment

    Bygravey

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • In reject the media insistence on using people unemployed misery to pressure public opinion over jobs. ' we could have had 400 people employed' , well yes, but the application was against planning policy and Ms. Arthur's party lost the vote, now she's crying foul. How many people could have been employed if Anglia Square had their planning applications accepted for a new supermarket twenty years ago. Brenda Arthur is spilling crocodile tears but planners have refused manager Roy Ruggles, RIP, an expansion of that economic eyesore for twenty years! Just sayin'.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • Those claiming that the decision against ASDA is going to cost 400 new jobs seem to know nothing about economics at all . Although 400 jobs may have been created at the proposed new ASDA store , a number of unquantifiable jobs would have been lost in shops and stores elsewhere . The total marketdemand for shopping that ASDA were proposing to serve is fixed by the spending power of the population therefore very few if any net new jobs are created when a new store is opened

    Report this comment

    Mark Senior

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • crazy decision.. Lets not forget about the additional pollution created by people travelling to the 1 ASDA and trying to park in the over subscribed car park. Lets leave it as a nasty brownfield site rather than moving forward.. Well done idiot council.. Can we also leave Anglia square how it is...

    Report this comment

    Bygravey

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • It's a sign of our desperation that any consumption-led (rather than production-led) development proposal is now argued as being acceptable just so long as it creates jobs. I'd be interested to know which part of the planning application costed the jobs this proposal will create against those it will destroy by taking trade away from other business in south Norwich? As soon as we knowingly start passing through unsustainable development in contravention of planning policies that we ourselves have designed, we may as well rip them up anyway and give developer a a free for all. Either way, likelihood is that under this government's new planning regime, the applicant will appeal, and the inspector will overturn the refusal simply on the jobs argument. The planning system is now actively weighted in favour of encouraging dvelopment, not regulating it.

    Report this comment

    beeston bump

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • Just wait tesco will apply and it'll be approved!!

    Report this comment

    city till i die

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • Gosh, the natural occurrence of melting and freezing of the north pole, means more to green thingy twits than the young people of Norwich getting their first jobs....footnote to the green thingy twit, the earth is fine its people like you who are mucked up!!!!!

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • This is all part of a process. Asda has just dangled a carrot - if you take their first offer you would be a mug. A desperate one. Play the long game and get the best result. Asda own the land and are going to come back to the table with a more realistic offer. The design that they have put forward is way in breach of planning regulations due to its size. The guidelines were for something around 1300 square meters and they came in with 3406. Its a balance that has been struck to try and protect smaller traders. Brenda Arthur is wrong to say that she is angry - her emotions are no concern of ours - she actually needs to back her planning department.Norfolkdumpling - we do live in a perfect world and I cannot believe you think there is no room for ideals. Ideals are principles and values that one actively pursues as a goal. They are particularly important in ethics.....

    Report this comment

    oldowl

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • The Green Party are nothing more than 'light' Conservatives. They bleat on about the environment but have no plan for jobs or growth. This is a prime example. So they would prefer us not to build homes or shops or create jobs. What a fine mess they would make.

    Report this comment

    Jeffrey Osborne

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • This is a May election stunt by the two deeply concerned parties, and has nothing whatsoever to do with this planning application. It has been objected to over size and scale for the area, and rightly so. If Labour thought it so important why didn't their committee members turn up, rather than wait until after the event and bleat about it? There will be so much more of this childishness leading up to the election in May, start recognising it for what it truly is - fear!

    Report this comment

    Honest John

    Wednesday, September 26, 2012

  • Unless the people of Norwich suddenly find extra money to spend on their shopping there can't possibly be any extra jobs. A new supermarket must surely divert spending from others and result in job losses or reduced worker hours in existing businesses. If existing supermarkets are at capacity because of population growth then fair enough, let a new one spring up.Hoping for price competition in the long term is pointless-real competiton between supermarkets does not exist.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • His three fellow Greens and Liberal Democrat Caroline Ackroyd agreed, which was enough to outvote the four Labour councillors at the meeting. Two Labour councillors who are normally on the committee, were not present. how can this be a fair decision if all the committee members where not present ?? norwich city council stinks of backhanders with their poor decisions with stupid reasons . have they promised the site to tesco's ???? makes you wonder ,as all you see is closed small shops and tesco on every corner .

    Report this comment

    adinorwich

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • I didnt say that local is worse. My point is that just because something is local (and here I specifically mean locally owned and operated shops) doesnt make it better. Retail is all about competition and shoppers go where they get the best deal and service, and sadly in many cases small and local loses out to the experts who got big by being better at what they do.

    Report this comment

    Abraham

    Sunday, September 23, 2012

  • A totally crackpot decision made by the council. However, not helped by the 2 missing Labour councillors who might well have been the casting vote in all this. Instead the Loony Libs and Greens came up with daft reasons and voted against. Shame on those 2 councillors. I notice as well those who voted against it live no where near the place. Instead live within different wards of Norwich. 95% of those who live on the Tuckswood estate including myself wanted it redeveloped. Instead we are going to have to stare at the decaying buildings until such time as something else comes along. I sincerely hope ASDA decide to appeal against the decision too.

    Report this comment

    nobbly1

    Saturday, September 22, 2012

  • David Rogers, Green councillor for Nelson ward, What planet does he live on? He said,"We should not be encouraging projects like this, which burn up fuel.” I am from South Lynn, it seems, that if the project is an advantage to those people who live in the vicinity, and will give them long term employment to those who are looking for work for their families. They are penalised by five councillers who have rejected this project with some weak comments from David Rogers. What about millions of litres of diesel fuel being burnt by lorries(900) feeding the incinerator for 247 25 years, this does not include the fuel to operate the incinerator. 65,516 people are against this project, it is definitely not an advantage for West Norfolk or the rest of Norfolk, I suggest they get their priorities in order. Yours sincerely Senior Citizen

    Report this comment

    LFB

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • We need more homes and NOT more Supermarkets.With talk of building 45 Thousand houses mostly on green belt land,here is an opportunity to reduce this Add your comment | Report this comment Albert Cooper Friday, September 21, 2012 Albert we don't need more houses either we need less immigrants and migrant workers filling the ones that are there already

    Report this comment

    BNP4GB

    Saturday, September 22, 2012

  • I despair that the height of the Labour Council's ambition for our children's futures is a possible part time job in Asda stacking shelves. How about doing something either to bring in REAL jobs to the region or at least to encourage the kids to work harder in school so they don't have to go cap in hand for a job in a supermarket. Well done Greens and Lib Dems.

    Report this comment

    DocOhNo

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • Three councillors weren't there for such a major decision?? as they are merely representatives there should be a reason published why they weren't representing, why no proxy vote?? Regeneration stopped by the North Pole lol

    Report this comment

    Rob_H

    Friday, September 21, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Most read business stories

Basil Todd with Palmers on Norwich Street in Dereham. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Palmers in Dereham is sold to well-known businessman with a £2m plan to rejuvenate town

A £2m plan to transform Palmers department store in Dereham and a neighbouring eyesore into an upmarket supermarket and clothing shop has been confirmed.

Read full story »

loading...

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT