Tesco’s plan for fourth store in Lowestoft at Pakefield receive planning boost

The Tramway Hotel and Pub on London Road, Pakefield could be turned into a Tesco Express. It is als

The Tramway Hotel and Pub on London Road, Pakefield could be turned into a Tesco Express. It is also very close to two other general stores. - Credit: Archant © 2012

A campaign to stop Tesco setting up a fourth store in the Lowestoft area has been dealt a severe blow.

For more than a year Tesco has been working on its plans to turn the historic Tramway Hotel in London Road, Pakefield, into a Tesco Express.

Yesterday the Pakefield Opposed to Tesco (POT) campaign group received a massive setback after Waveney District Council said Tesco did not need planning permission for a change of use to convert the Tramway Hotel into a store.

The council had sought legal opinion to establish, in law, whether Tesco would need to submit a planning application for a change of use for the Tramway Hotel building.

Planning officials and POT had said an application would be required on the basis that the site is a business of mixed use – hotel and public house, while Tesco said it did not need to make a submission as it was only a pub.

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But a barrister, who was asked to provide his legal opinion, has concluded 'the overwhelmingly likely lawful use of the site is as a public house' and Tesco should not need to submit an application.

It means the council's development control committee will not have a chance to vote against it.

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But the committee will be able to vote at its next meeting in January on a submission for extensions to the Tramway to turn it into a retail store.

David Ritchie, Waveney District Council's cabinet member for planning and coastal management, said: 'We have a duty to explore and examine the potential outcomes of what is clearly a situation of great interest to the local community.

'We have sought independent legal opinion on this matter and, although this may be disappointing to members of the local community, the findings are clear.'

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