Fresh twist in Pakefield Tesco saga sees change of use papers filed

Protesters outside Lowestoft Town Hall ahead of a planning meeting about Tesco plans for Tramway pub. Protesters outside Lowestoft Town Hall ahead of a planning meeting about Tesco plans for Tramway pub.

Friday, June 20, 2014
6:30 AM

Campaigners trying to stop Tesco opening a store in Pakefield have this week launched a fresh bid to scupper the high street chain’s plans.

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For the past 19 months people in Pakefield have been fighting plans to convert the Tramway Hotel in London Road into a Tesco Express store.

In April, the campaigners were seemingly dealt a fatal blow after a full meeting of Waveney District Council paved the way for Tesco to move into the Tramway. The council ruled the building was just a pub and so change-of-use planning permission was not needed.

But this week, there was yet another dramatic twist in the long-running controversy after the group Pakefield Opposing Tesco (POT) lodged a certificate of lawful use at Waveney, asking the council to register the Tramway as a site of mixed use of pub and hotel – meaning Tesco has to put in a full-blown planning application.

And as part of POT’s strongly-held view that Tesco should need change-of-use planning permission, it has hired a barrister to argue their case that the Tramway is a hotel and pub.

POT says the case presented by barrister Juan Lopez is compelling and hopes that, when the matter goes back before Waveney’s development control committee, a vital victory could be secured if councillors on the planning body go against April’s ruling of the full council.

Bob Blizzard, chairman of POT, said: “We have assembled a stack of evidence that the Tramway Hotel is what everyone knows it to be – a hotel and pub.

“The barrister we have engaged is in no doubt and his legal opinion is emphatic.

“There will now be another opportunity for councillors on the development control committee to stand by the people of Pakefield by approving our application. I’m sure that large numbers will again turn up at Lowestoft Town Hall to show the strength of feeling.

“The fight goes on to stop Tesco and save the Tramway,” he added.

“The feeling in Pakefield against Tesco taking over the Tramway is as strong as ever and POT is determined to fight on. I hope the councillors on the DCC back us”.

Mr Lopez has produced a 38-point report that concludes the Tramway is currently a building of mixed use.

In his report, Mr Lopez says: “The internal layout of the accommodation and other parts of the property is consistent with a primary hotel use.

“Five of the accommodation rooms include shower and basin facilities, with one including a basin only. Other conventional facilities include a television, tea and coffee facilities, iron and complimentary toiletries. A breakfast option is also made available to all guests.”

At the end of April, Waveney’s full council saw a tight vote of 23-22 go in favour of a council report that said councillors should follow legal advice that the Tramway was just a pub as Tesco could launch a legal appeal process.

At the beginning of April a meeting of the development control committee had gone against independent legal advice and voted in favour of registering the Tramway as mixed use – a decision that was then quashed by the full council.

Gareth Douce, councillor for Kirkley, had suggested the change-of-use motion at the development control committee and is looking forward to voting on the issue again.

He said: “It needs to happen in an open and transparent way for councillors to make their decision.”

Sonia Barker, Waveney councillor for Pakefield and leader of the Labour opposition group at the council, had spoken out against Tesco plans at previous meetings.

She said: “It is good that this supporting evidence will help in the application by the Pakefield Opposing Tesco group to Waveney for a certificate of lawful use to establish that the Tramway Hotel is a mixed use of hotel and pub.

“I look forward to representing the views of Pakefield residents when this application comes before the committee in the near future.”

Barrister Josef Cannon had prepared a report to the full council meeting that said in his view it was an “unwise” decision by the development control committee as Mr Douce’s motion was not on the agenda, was not supported by any evidence or report and was contrary to disclosed legal advice.

An earlier independent report by Mr Cannon had said that under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development Order) 1995 the Tramway should be classified as a pub.

A spokesman for Waveney said: “We have received the application plus a copy of the barrister’s opinion and we will consider all the evidence before presenting it to the development control committee in a report.”

Mr Blizzard said POT was grateful to all those who had supported POT quiz nights, coffee mornings and table- top sales to raise the money needed to engage Mr Lopez.

14 comments

  • I can certainly confirm that The Tramway Hotel is a building of mixed use - a pub and accommodation above. I work there and book people into the rooms, show them up to the rooms and take the money for them to stay in the rooms. If this isn't proof it is a building of mixed use I don't know what is.

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    Cruella

    Tuesday, June 24, 2014

  • Planning ruleslaws need a good shake up to save all this time effort and money being wasted. This particular situation in Pakefield should have been resolved ages ago on the basis of the likely traffic mayhem that will occur with the proposed retail outlet of this type at this site.

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    NGonJournal

    Monday, June 23, 2014

  • It’s strange I can’t seem to find any reviews on the internet of anyone who stayed in the hotel (Pub) are they sure it was a hotel..? Does anyone stay here..? Just a thought how many people stayed here in a year..? I bet more people would go in The New Tesco in one hour than a whole year in the pub. Pakefield. org website refers to the Tramway Hotel as a wonderful pub no mention of the Hotel part.LOL I would love a Tesco near me because of Anti groups like you we have to travel 11 miles to the nearest shop, some of our locals in the Village didn't want another shop because we had a Post Office that sold stuff unfortunately the post office has been closed for the past three years

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    MickB1

    Sunday, June 22, 2014

  • Mike have you seen the terminus at pakefield at all, do you honestly think there is a need for another small supermarket there . And as for new shops create jobs , in this case you must be slightly deluded because if the new shop,means others close then more jobs will be lost than made. And i somehow dont think you live in pakefield , because your comment about a threat to other shops and a new shop will have more choice ,tells me that you dont know what is here already We have 2 supermarkets A chemistpharmacy, A florist An, opticians A fishing shop A bakery A beauticians And a cardgift shop now you tell me what else could tesco offer ? have i missed a product.for daily use.

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    beachy

    Saturday, June 21, 2014

  • I also feel sorry for the people of pakefield, having such sad people trying such underhanded tactics and “they” call Tesco..!! I think these people need to get out more and get a life. So what if they have a shop here, what are you scared of..? a threat to other local shops perhaps..Well that’s business I’m afraid..get used to it. A new shop creates local jobs and more choices for everyday needs.

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    MickB1

    Saturday, June 21, 2014

  • The trouble is tesco has got its own way for so long across the uk ,it thinks it can overcome any objection As some one said earlier they are so big they can carry on for ever, but even big boys fall down at sometime,and i certainly hope that they fall with a bang over this pakefield store, Their big stores are failing so they are hoping to take over all the small communities now, If you look online the amount of objections to tescos is incredible one thing i cannot understand is, if nothing else the huge lorries that tesco use turning into florence road will be awful not only dangerous but noisy for the residents too. I hope that Tesco do not open in pakefield, but if they do then lets hope all the people who object to them ,never ever use them, i know i certainly will not be going in their shop if they get the go ahead. trouble is tescos thrive on this, as it all means their name is given publicity without them having to pay a penny. .but i fear that the rubbish council we have will do nothing to stop them.

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    beachy

    Friday, June 20, 2014

  • It would seem that the siege mentality continues.....

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    Jay

    Friday, June 20, 2014

  • @Dogberry - You seem somewhat misinformed about the issue. What bullying have Tesco done except for following planning law exactly the same as for example you or I if we wanted to open a shop there. They identified a location they could make money in and followed the law and planning process to open a store there so where (or who) has this bullying propaganda come from? It IS hypocritical of POT 'paying' for an opinion since they have a vested interest in its outcome so that opinion can never be classed as unbiased and independent. Tesco did not pay for the original opinion on the Tramways, WDC did who, I might add have no vested interest either way except to follow planning law and base their decisions on said law using the independent advice they were given to ensure the decision they made was legal. To use 'independent' advice 'paid for' by an anti Tesco pressure group would mean and decision made by WDC using that advice would NOT be fair and legal as you put it. There is a lot of support for Tesco as you will see when they open, its just that most of us have lives to get on with without being a part of this anti Tesco witch hunt. Perhaps POT should concentrate on working with Tesco (as happened in Southwold) to ensure when the store does arrive the character of the building and area is maintained for the benefit of local residents.

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    ollie

    Friday, June 20, 2014

  • This is more than just the issue of change of use - or not. It's about bullying - big company with their endless funding versus a group of sincere residents ( a lot of them) , who would rather not have a multinational plonking itself down in their community. It is totally hypocritical to accuse POT of "paying" for an opinion, when that is exactly what WDC and Tesco have done. We still live in a democracy, and POT are using all that they can to make sure that the decision is fair and legal...if there are so many people out there who support Tesco, then why haven't they gone to POT meetings to outnumber the opponents, or asked to speak at WDC Planning Committee. Perhaps Vinnyp could start his own petition in support of Tesco? Tesco don't always win - they were sent off from Hadleigh...

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    Dogberry

    Friday, June 20, 2014

  • @vinny.p - You make an interesting observation. Your previous posts have led us to believe that you are a Pakefield resident, Have you had a look at the rooms with a view to staying? Maybe it's only 5 star for you? "All these meetings is getting ridiculous." This is something approaching democracy in action, and WDC not being permitted to go their own misguided way unopposed for once. You may well be correct in that POT is unlikely to be able to fend off a huge corporate in the long-term, but that doesn't mean it isn't worth trying.

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    point du jour

    Friday, June 20, 2014

  • Oh dear - after all the bluster from POT about Tesco's fictional 'underhand' tactics and 'sneaking through the back door' even though they had simply followed the planning process, now POT hypocritically I might add have PAID Mr Lopez to turn round and say its a hotel! Now who's being underhand here! Does Mr Blizzard seem like the sort of person I want to vote for in the next election? Im starting to question! The crown hotel in the high street has rooms upstairs the same as the tramways - They both have Hotel in their name because they 'used' to be hotels, not are hotels. The crown hasn't been a hotel for donkeys years yet it has rooms upstairs, with en suite and Hotel in its name so im sure Mr Lopez would say otherwise (as long as he was suitably paid of course!)

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    ollie

    Friday, June 20, 2014

  • Only one way to stop Tesco taking over everything. Shop elsewhere!!!

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    Sandy.L

    Friday, June 20, 2014

  • while I feel sorry for the people of pakefield I do really think they are fighting a losing battle against Tesco. as Tesco proved in sheringham they have the time and money to carry this on until they get what they want no matter what people think or want. it does seem such a shame that all these giants want to do is spoil the look of towns with their huge blue signs and big slabs of tarmac not to mention their dangling carrot to local councils by offering things in exchange for planning permission. good luck to you all in pakefield but I fear you will lose.

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    i am mostly wrong??

    Friday, June 20, 2014

  • Oh dear oh dear. Mixed use my @#@#. The rooms are so old you could not possibly stay in them. Lets hope the council see sense here and save us the tax payer money by letting tesco go in. All these meetings is getting ridiculous. POT is just in dream land. Guess it's wait and see but I cant see pot winning against a giant like TESCO.

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    vinny.p

    Friday, June 20, 2014

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

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