Lowestoft area set to get fourth Tesco store after Pakefield planning decision is quashed

The Tramway Hotel and Pub on London Road, Pakefield The Tramway Hotel and Pub on London Road, Pakefield

Wednesday, April 23, 2014
9:38 PM

The controversial decision over whether Tesco should set up a fourth store for the Lowestoft area swung firmly towards the supermarket chain tonight after councillors agreed to quash a move to halt the firm’s plans.

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A full meeting of Waveney District Council agreed to quash an earlier ruling by its development control committee which said the proposed site for the Tesco Express, the Tramway Hotel in Pakefield, was of mixed use as a pub and hotel.

By quashing that status and confirming Tramway Hotel is only a pub, it means nothing can now stop Tesco moving into Victorian building as it does not need change of use planning permission due to the pub-only status.

The development control committee’s decision on April 2 was said to be unlawful and be open to a legal challenge by Tesco following legal advice published in a council monitoring officer report last week.

Tonight the ruling Conservative group voted in favour of quashing the motion so the council could not have been seen to have acted unlawfully, while the Labour opposition group argued that the people of Pakefield should come first.

Gareth Douce, Labour councillor for the Kirkley ward and who had introduced the mix of use motion, said: “I am concerned about representing the views and concerns of local communities.

“This is about being here for the local community.”

Peter Byatt, of the Pakefield ward, said the legal advice to quash the change of use motion ‘made a nonsense of what is right for the people’.

Martin Parsons, Conservative councillor for the Wrentham ward, said: “What I value most is the rule of law. The rule of law must be upheld.”

Stephen Ardley, deputy leader of Waveney and who represents Carlton ward, said if a challenge came from Tesco it could cost the council £500,000 - adding 10pc to household’s council tax bills.

He added councillors were only at tonight’s meeting to discuss the legal merits of the committee’s decision and not the issues surrounding Tesco’s plans for a store.

Tesco unveiled its plans 17 months ago, prompting fears in Pakefield that a new store would cause traffic problems and impact adversely on nearby shops.

If Tesco goes ahead with its move the company says it would create 20 jobs and benefit the area.

13 comments

  • Ollie, spot on. Tesco don't do 'wrong', they don't need to. For the life of me I can't see what the fuss was about.

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    peter waller

    Saturday, April 26, 2014

  • Sorry Kevin, but you really have been brain-washed if that is what you think. Ollie has stated the facts very accurately and just because you may not like Tesco it does not give you the right to stop them taking an available property. No-one is to blame at a local level, the planning rules have been as they are for many years and such similar transactions are happening all over the country. I have no political interest in this whatsoever, but it is crystal clear that all the dirty tactics were employed by the protesters who, led by their prospective Labour MP candidate, took it upon themselves to turn this into a political campaign. Very sad to see how easy it was to mislead and misinform decent people. I'm all for a good, healthy, well-informed fightdebatecampaign etc, but this was embarrassing.

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    Jay

    Friday, April 25, 2014

  • All Tesco had to do was wait for their tory poals to back them.It took a bit longer than usual but in the end they did what they always do. Money talks and every little helps.

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    kevin bacon

    Friday, April 25, 2014

  • I am amazed by some of these comments and accusations! Bribing council officials, blaming them, corruption? The only corrupt action the council took was to illegally go against Tesco despite not having a jot of evidence or reason to, simply to use it as a political point scoring tool. All Tesco did was follow planning law to the letter. They didn't need to 'bribe' anyone, they didn't need underhand tactics as they were always in the right and had the the law on their side. As Jay quite rightly pointed out, the only underhand tactics being employed were by Mr Blizzard and his POT cronies. Accusation after accusation against Tesco, each one either unfounded or proven totally wrong with no evidence to back them up. As soon as one was shot down, inventing another. Attempting to get the council to illegally go against planning law for their own benefit. All Tesco had to do was sit back and wait for the anti Tesco brigade to screw themselves over. The most amusing part of this whole pantomime being that no body gave a damn about the tramways before Tesco came along despite the state of the place, the fact most of the locals don't support it by even using the place. If Tesco hadn't have come along I would have given it a few years and it would probably have closed down, probably boarded up and probably knocked down without anyone so much as batting an eye lid. Spot on comment Jay, nice to see a common sense comment for once!

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    ollie

    Thursday, April 24, 2014

  • The Tory councillors & the council officers should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves. They are there to represent and act on behalf of the people and may I say local businesses. This is just another item to add to list of failures in this fast fading town. The Tramways was always of mixed use and the signs say so. We know who has their snouts in the trough..

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    NorCas

    Thursday, April 24, 2014

  • Apologies for quoting myself, but I should like to clarify that when I posted that "This is the Tory stitch-up we all knew it would be", this was my opinion and that of family and friends. The Pakefield group opposing Tesco is not political - and no, they haven't instructed me to say so!

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    point du jour

    Thursday, April 24, 2014

  • So once again Tesco bully their will over the will of the locals. Disgusting sharks.

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    Frank

    Thursday, April 24, 2014

  • It never fails to amaze me the strength of the ill-feeling towards Tesco. I am sure in some instances their ability to muscle in on sites seems unjust, but on this occasion all the muscle flexing, under-hand tactics etc were employed by the opposition. This quickly became a Labour versus Tory battle and unfortunately many of the locals were pulled along for the ride. The argument against changed tack on a number of occasions trying various ill-advised methods to block Tesco. Tesco, to be fair, did not on this occasion do anything unjust. Sometimes people need to stand back for a moment, take stock of the situation and then question themselves as to what they really want. Lowestoft is awash with pubs that no-one uses. There are many within a short walking distance of the Tramway and most are suffering, indeed 2 have been sold in recent months and one to a food operator (not Tesco, so no-one cared!). I'm afraid we have reached a point in society where many of these pubs will be lost as they are no longer needed, whereas on the other-hand demand continues to grow for convenience food stores.

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    Jay

    Thursday, April 24, 2014

  • A disgraceful but, sadly, not unexpected decision. Tesco routinely threaten and bribe to get what they want and there are few examples of their failing. However there is, ironically, a well-known case of a local authority represented by Josef Cannon (the legal opinion sought here) winning against Tesco in a planning appeal at Sunninghill, Berkshire. “Counsel for the Royal Borough, Mr Josef Cannon's opening shot was to describe the plans for a Tesco Express as ‘an attempt to shoe-horn an inappropriate activity into this small site’. He said the ‘classic hallmarks’ of this are the exceptional level of local concern, insufficient levels of parking ( actually constituting a net loss)  disturbance of neighbours by noise and reliance on a ‘notional fall back position of a lawful A1 use, wheeled out as a threat, if the application is refused’.” Surely there was an even stronger case against Tesco in Pakefield?  As for the irritation, sorry, frequent writer to The Journal, Martin Parsons' comment about upholding the law, he is demonstrating his usual inability or disinclination to comprehend the salient points of the argument. This is the Tory stitch-up we all knew it would be.

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    point du jour

    Thursday, April 24, 2014

  • What a joke seems like Tesco has brought every Council all over the Country well i don't go in the others so wont be going in this one and what an absolute disgrace that they can just buy there way into towns there is already issues with parking along that stretch of London rd which will now be a nightmare but who care obviously not the planners how many pieces of silver did it take to slide this one through

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    Jeannette Murray

    Thursday, April 24, 2014

  • It's always been mixed use, I worked in the hotel part for years!!! Sad and Disguisting, losing our heritage....all for money! Feeling rather angry now!!!

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    Gayle Church

    Thursday, April 24, 2014

  • Tesco gets what Tesco wants. We knew it would.

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    kevin bacon

    Thursday, April 24, 2014

  • So it is a pubsupermarket and one can purchase some beer and drink it there and then and pay for it, what a novelty. I'm sure they can make some chairs available, every little thing helps. Whatever they say, its still a pub in planning terms as its use has not been changed.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Thursday, April 24, 2014

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

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