Plans for fourth Tesco for Lowestoft are deferred

Large group of people outside Lowestoft town hall ahead of a Waveney District council development co

Large group of people outside Lowestoft town hall ahead of a Waveney District council development control committee meeting which will discuss the conversion of the Tramway Hotel into a Tesco Express store. Picture: James Bass - Credit: James Bass

A supermarket chain's scheme to set up a fourth store for the Lowestoft area hit the buffers tonight as councillors deferred making a decision on its controversial move.

Waveney District Council's development control committee chose to ignore planning officers recommendations to approve the plans by Tesco to create a store on the site of the historic Trawmay Hotel pub in London Road, Pakefield.

Before the committee deferred making a decision so legal advice and a traffic survey could be carried out, about 100 people protested outside Lowestoft Town Hall. The concerned residents of Pakefield, who fear the store will create traffic problems and impact on other businesses, tried to persuade councillors to throw out the extension plans.

Committee members deferred making a decision on allowing Tesco to carry out its extensions to the Tramway Hotel after they raised their strong concerns on the whole planning process surrounding the creation of a new store.

Late month anti-Teco campaigners from Pakefield Opposed To Tesco and concerned councillors were dealt a blow after the council, based on legal advice, said Tesco would not need change of use planning permission as the Tramways Hotel was only a pub

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Tonight's meeting had been told to rubber stamp the extension plan, but committee members raised their concerns over the legal advice over the change of use advice and said it should be reconsidered so they could have a proper say on the issue.

Graham Elliott, of the Beccles North Ward, was one of several councillors to call the legal advice into question.

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He said: 'It is very strongly contested whether change of use is needed or not. That is, I think, fundamentally important.'

As well as calling for the council to review its legal advice, councillors also demanded that traffic concerns be looked at.

Gareth Douce, of the Kirkley Ward, said: 'There is clearly a congested junction where there has been some very near misses in recent times.'

The committee heard there had been 217 letters of objection and a petition of 2,500 names opposing the plans by Tesco, which said would create 20 jobs and benefit other shops by drawing in new customers.

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