A supermarket chain’s scheme to set up a fourth store for the Lowestoft area hit the buffers tonight as councillors deferred making a decision on its controversial move.

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Waveney District Council’s development control committee chose to ignore planning officers recommendations to approve the plans by Tesco to create a store on the site of the historic Trawmay Hotel pub in London Road, Pakefield.

Before the committee deferred making a decision so legal advice and a traffic survey could be carried out, about 100 people protested outside Lowestoft Town Hall. The concerned residents of Pakefield, who fear the store will create traffic problems and impact on other businesses, tried to persuade councillors to throw out the extension plans.

Committee members deferred making a decision on allowing Tesco to carry out its extensions to the Tramway Hotel after they raised their strong concerns on the whole planning process surrounding the creation of a new store.

Late month anti-Teco campaigners from Pakefield Opposed To Tesco and concerned councillors were dealt a blow after the council, based on legal advice, said Tesco would not need change of use planning permission as the Tramways Hotel was only a pub

Tonight’s meeting had been told to rubber stamp the extension plan, but committee members raised their concerns over the legal advice over the change of use advice and said it should be reconsidered so they could have a proper say on the issue.

Graham Elliott, of the Beccles North Ward, was one of several councillors to call the legal advice into question.

He said: “It is very strongly contested whether change of use is needed or not. That is, I think, fundamentally important.”

As well as calling for the council to review its legal advice, councillors also demanded that traffic concerns be looked at.

Gareth Douce, of the Kirkley Ward, said: “There is clearly a congested junction where there has been some very near misses in recent times.”

The committee heard there had been 217 letters of objection and a petition of 2,500 names opposing the plans by Tesco, which said would create 20 jobs and benefit other shops by drawing in new customers.

14 comments

  • You are a Pakefield resident then Mr.Waller? Please clarify...

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    Dogberry

    Tuesday, January 14, 2014

  • we want more tescos shops in lowestoft we will get 1 soon

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    john

    Friday, January 17, 2014

  • ...because if you were you would be well aware of the difficulties already faced at this very busy road junction, which will not be helped if there was a Tesco Express on this site, as doubtless there would be motorists stopping on the double-yellow lines outside and in Florence Road just to "nip in!" Thank goodness for some common sense from the Planning Committee - listening to local residents. At last they can have some say in how they want their local community to look - contrary to Eric Pickles and Localism twaddle!

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    Dogberry

    Tuesday, January 14, 2014

  • Oh dear, this is the problem with committee meetings where ill-informed councillors are left to make the decision. No doubt they are nervous about going against the strong willed protesters, however it is their duty to consider the facts and deal with the application on its merits. The fact Tesco are going to be the occupier of the property is completely irrelevant as their occupation is permitted by law. The argument to say the property is a hotel and not a pub is ridiculous and has been used only as a means to try and block Tesco. The legal advice already sought during this application was, and I quote the words given by the cabinet member for planning at WDC, "clear" on issue of the lawful use. It seems to me that WDC was missing someone strong enough to point this out last night.Traffic issues? Possibly this is a legitimate concern, but more likely it is a facade to the real issue (their is a clue in the campaign group's name) that is all about stopping Tesco at any costs. We could well find that the cost will now be to public purse as they ignore planning legislation or simply refuse to believe the advise and facts of the case. Sorry if this seems to be overly pro-Tesco, it's not, it is just frustrating how much time, effort and money can be wasted in the wrong areas.

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    Jay

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

  • @NorCas - I think they probably are incompetent as anyone with half an understanding of planning will know that there is no legitimate planning reason to refuse consent. I fear this could be a costly process for WDC.

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    Jay

    Thursday, January 16, 2014

  • Are the WDC planners competent or were they happy just to roll over when faced with the Tesco juggernaut ? Hardly a rigorous investigation into the traffic implications, the effect on local businesses, the effect on people living in the locality or the full legal issues concerning the need for planning permission etc. This application should not be approved as it is not in the interests of Pakefield or the town in general.

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    NorCas

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

  • I agree with Pete waller and Jay 100%. I am a Pakefield resident and my child goes to school past there everyday. I would love a Tesco there and these people protesting are moaning as its Tesco. Even the Pakefield MP has said it would be better converted into a restaurant but would that not cause the same problems with traffic? Lets face it if it stays as it is it will just go to ruin as the windows are already rotten and falling apart. I hope Tesco get the go ahead and this is just another delay in the inevitable.

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    vinny.p

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

  • The Councillors involved received a great deal of information before and during the meeting. Tesco produced a massively detailed document before Christmas explaining why they thought the Tramways wasn't a hotel, and now information has been brought forward by others to show why this view can, and should be challenged. This is called the democratic process and must not be rushed through just because Tesco want their way regardless of strong local opposition. The fact that over 200 individuals took the time to write in objection is significant, as well as the petition. Do the supporters of this really want to see jobs lost at the Spar and Co-op? Royal Mail have just announced that the Post Office in the Spar is to become a Main Branch - do you want to lose this essential community asset if the Spar were to close. Have you been into the Tramways and looked at the layout of the building - it lends itself to conversion to a caférestaurant - something which the local community would welcome with enthusiasm - why don't Enterprise Inns show some social responsibility - they could even convert upstairs into flats for a steady income. This is not about selfish NIMBYISM from locals, and the snide comments about those opposing this lack any understanding of the sincerity and commitment of the campaigners to their own community.

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    Dogberry

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

  • The single planning issue is traffic, although it is an important one. I fear Pakefield residents are suffering a rerun of the situation surrounding the Kessingland turbines. There councillors "deferred" the decision, in the face of strong local oppostion, allowing the developer to appeal to the Planning Inspectorate, who rubber--stamped the plan.

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    Anthony Gower

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

  • @NorCas - I think they probably are incompetent as anyone with half an understanding of planning will know that there is no legitimate planning reason to refuse consent. I fear this could be a costly process for WDC.

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    Jay

    Thursday, January 16, 2014

  • Pathetic, I just hope that Tesco throw the book at WDC! Unfortunately that could cost us all as we shall end up paying.

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    peter waller

    Tuesday, January 14, 2014

  • If there really is massive opposition to Tesco from the local people then it should be thrown out. It really has nothing to do with people (like me) who live nowhere near it.

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    kevin bacon

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

  • The single planning issue is traffic, although it is an important one. I fear Pakefield residents are suffering a rerun of the situation surrounding the Kessingland turbines. There councillors "deferred" the decision, in the face of strong local oppostion, allowing the developer to appeal to the Planning Inspectorate, who rubber--stamped the plan.

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    Anthony Gower

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

  • I am pleased that the council have supported the people of Pakefield. We do not need another store and we need to protect what we have. The road issue should be highlighted further as the Tramway is a bus and coach stop, traffic is confronted by pedestrian crossing and buses turning from Stradbroke Road. Deliveries to the Spar shop and the Co-op are difficult and further congestion at this point cannot be tolerated, unless we wish to see accidents. Since the road was de trunked the car parking and added congestion that the parked cars cause is already intolerable. The planning committee needs to look at this properly to ensure the best interests of the local people are served.

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    Pyre raft

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

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

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