Protest over fourth Tesco store for Lowestoft area unlikely to stop go-ahead
PUBLISHED: 08:38 09 January 2014 | UPDATED: 08:38 09 January 2014
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The final stage of a controversial plan to set up a Tesco store on the site of a pub in Pakefield, near Lowestoft, is set to be completed next week –despite a wave of protest from residents who strongly object to the scheme.
On Tuesday an application by Tesco Stores Ltd to extend the Tramway Hotel in London Road to create a fourth store for the Lowestoft area will be voted on by Waveney District Council.
In a blow to the thousands of people who say the creation of a Tesco Express at the Victorian pub will affect other shops and pose traffic problems, the council’s development control committee has been told the two single-storey rear extensions should be approved.
The recommendations by Waveney planning officers come after another blow for anti-Tesco campaigners last month when it was ruled Tesco did not need change of use planning permission to convert the pub into a store, which will create 20 jobs.
Ahead of Tuesday’s night meeting at the town hall from 6pm, the campaign group Pakefield Opposed to Tesco (POT) has urged residents to attend the committee to try to persuade councillors to vote against the extensions plans.
Bob Blizzard, chairman of POT, said: “We want as many people as possible to come to the town hall to press elected councillors to back local people and to turn down the application.”
A planning report to Tuesday’s committee sets out the large amount of objections sent in to the council about Tesco’s plans.
It says: “The application has received strong opposition from the local community. At the time of writing 214 people have written in with their views, 208 objected, four made comments and one was in support.
“A petition signed by around 2,500 members of the public was submitted asking Waveney District Council to refuse the planning application to turn the Tramway Hotel premises into a Tesco Express store.”
The report says the Suffolk Preservation Society objects and says the plan will be “harmful” to the building, while the Victorian Society said the “process of conversion will inevitably result in the loss of a large proportion on the building’s historic interest and special significance”.
But the report recommends the committee vote in favour of the extensions as they “are considered to be acceptable in their appearance and character”.