July 24 2014 Latest news:
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Controversial plans to create a fourth Tesco store for the Lowestoft area are to be decided at a crunch meeting next month.
The plans to convert the Tramway Hotel in Pakefield into a Tesco Express will be discussed on Wednesday, April 2 when Waveney District Council will hold an extraordinary meeting from 6pm.
Tesco wants planning consent for an extension to The Tramway in London Road, enabling the supermarket chain to convert it in to a retail store.
Consent was originally considered by the planning committee in January and a decision was deferred to allow for a site visit.
Councillors also decided to defer a final decision after they raised strong objections over the legal advice given to the council by an independent QC, which concluded Tesco did not need to make a full “change of use” application as the Tramway was a pub and not a mixed use of pub and hotel.
The extension plans were due to be discussed again tonight but the matter will now be discussed on April 2 instead.
A council spokesman said: “The new date has been set to allow members time to fully consider all legal advice. Additionally, it was considered appropriate to arrange a special meeting given the expected numbers likely to attend.”
In a sign of how strongly people felt about Tesco’s plans, more than 100 people demonstrated outside the town hall before January’s meeting to demand the application be rejected.
Among the concerns raised were fears over the likely increase in traffic and the potential impact on local independently-owned stores.
The demonstration was organised by Pakefield Opposed to Tesco.
Tesco – which also has stores in Gunton, Lowestoft town centre and Carlton Colville – says the new shop will create about 20 jobs and will offer a wide variety of products in a convenient location.