Norwich City Council told Taverham supermarket plans are ‘none of its business’ as Broadland approves scheme

PUBLISHED: 07:02 01 February 2018 | UPDATED: 11:58 01 February 2018

Taverham Nursery in Fir Covert Road. Photo: Bill Smith

Taverham Nursery in Fir Covert Road. Photo: Bill Smith

Bill Smith

A Broadland councillor said plans for a new supermarket in Taverham were none of Norwich City Council’s “business” following its objection to the scheme.

Scott Properties and Lidl UK yesterday received permission to build a new 2,200 sqm supermarket, a retail unit and lifestyle leisure unit next door to Taverham Garden Centre, off Fir Covert Road.

But Broadland District Council has had to impose conditions restricting what can be sold on the site due to an objection from its neighbouring local authority.

It is the second time the city council has opposed the proposals. Back in 2014 it launched a legal challenge after the original application was given the green light by Broadland.

At the time, the city council cited government guidelines stating the retail vitality of a town or city centre - in this case Norwich - cannot be undermined by having other competing products of the edge of town.

The city council maintained its objection when revised plans were submitted in October 2017, but said it would withdraw its objection if the retail unit was restricted to what it can sell.

Discussing the plans on Wednesday, Broadland planning committee member and Acle Ward councillor Lana Hempsall said: “I find it a bit rich that we are taking note of Norwich City Council’s holding objection, which is controlling what goods can be sold in this location.

“This is an allocated site within our development policy and I would consider that condition unnecessary.”

Councillor Roger Foulger added: “This point was raised with the original application. And the point was made that what is it any business of Norwich City Council to interfere with the residents of Taverham who wish to shop locally. It is none of their business what goes on within Broadland or within an area such as Taverham.”

Head of planning Phil Courtier told members it was part of the planning system to try and protect retail areas.

He “strongly advised” members not to remove the condition.

The condition restricts the standalone retail unit from selling items including clothing, jewellery, toys and games.

Broadland’s planning committee voted unanimously to approve the scheme, which also sought outline permission for a fast food restaurant and a pub or restaurant.

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