Planners are likely to give the thumbs down to a large supermarket and petrol station on the outskirts of North Walsham - although one as-yet unknown set of circumstances could result in an about turn.

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North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) officers believe the scheme would be far too damaging to the town centre and that applicant Scott Properties’ package of suggestions to lessen its impact would be “wholly inadequate”.

They are recommending that Thursday’s NNDC development committee members reject the scheme - but their decision is complicated by a new proposal for another supermarket in the town centre.

Scott Properties want to build a supermarket with a net sales area of about 39,000sq ft, with parking for 412 vehicles, and a petrol station, on the former Marricks Wire Ropes site, Cromer Road. It would create about 250 jobs.

A report by NNDC’s retail consultant Mark Wood Associates calls the scale of the proposed supermarket “excessive” and says, if approved, the town could lose one third of its total trade in 2016.

A total of 11 representations on the plan have been lodged, including seven objections, and three in support.

North Walsham Town Council supported the proposal subject to a long list of conditions.

Thursday’s committee members will be presented with a complicated set of scenarios by their officers who say that, as well as the impact on the town centre, the application may not meet the “sequential test”.

The test requires a supermarket to be as close as possible to the town centre and there is still one site, The Lawns at Paston College, which could be deemed to be closer.

Paston chiefs will shortly discuss a proposal by another developer to build a supermarket on The Lawns, although principal Kevin Grieve has expressed frustration at speculators approaching the college and has said that it would have to be “a very substantial offer indeed” to be acceptable.

A report to the committee says the officers’ recommendation is partly dependent on Paston’s decision.

If the college did agree to The Lawns being developed, officers would recommend refusing Scott Properties’ application as a site closer to the town centre would then be available.

In the event that Paston rejects the proposal but Scott Properties do not offer acceptable measures to lessen their store’s impact, the recommendation would also be refusal.

But if Paston says “no” to developing The Lawns, and Scott Properties can convince NNDC that it would do enough to counteract its store’s impact on the town centre, planning officers say they would advise approving the scheme.

7 comments

  • How about a petrol station, which North Walsham needs, and a little supermarket? Trying to get into NW for petrol is a pain so the petrol station would be a good idea. But do we really need another supermarket?

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    Mr T

    Sunday, March 17, 2013

  • Here we go again with the same old excuse "supermarkets destroy town centre trade". No they don't, expensive car park charges (or in this case poorly surfaced free car parking), a lack of choice and personal shopping preferences are what stop people going to town centres like North Walsham. What's stopped this development is Sainsburys protecting their investment and Waitrose throwing in their fore penneth for the same reason. Ask the people who live near by, most would welcome the development, especially the petrol station. Give US the choice WE want!

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    KeithS

    Saturday, March 16, 2013

  • what a chance to make use of one of these areas in the town that just sits there year after year doing nothing. surely its worth doing it if only for the jobs it will create. thats what people want. a missed opportunity if the council turns this down.!!!

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    mike cook

    Saturday, March 16, 2013

  • In the history of mankind, there has never been a more stupid idea than putting a supermarket on the Lawns of Paston College...Never! And............especially a TESCO!

    Report this comment

    windup

    Saturday, March 16, 2013

  • Vote the bl00dy lot of them out, thank goodness for asda and tesco home delivery service.

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    "Bin here all me life"

    Saturday, March 16, 2013

  • does what the people of north walsham want not matter over 70%of people wanted the new supermarket and petro station.typical councils not listening to the public.

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    kaz

    Saturday, March 16, 2013

  • Once again, North Norfolk District Council, putting the 'NO' in NOrth Walsham! I guess we have to wait until Thursday for sure. The biggest enemy of the town centre is NNDC's car park policy, that alone has ALREADY killed trade in North Walsham, it's nothing to do with supermarkets.

    Report this comment

    Walsham Boy

    Saturday, March 16, 2013

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