Tesco has lost an appeal to build an out-of-town superstore in Basingstoke on the first anniversary of the introduction of new national planning rules, which helped influence the final rejection.
The government’s planning inspectorate dismissed Tesco’s appeal against the local council’s decision to refuse planning permission for the 24-hour store. In his ruling, the planning inspector said the proposals failed the aims of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).
He said the proposals were likely to have a “significant adverse impact on the vitality and viability” of the town centre, contrary to the aims of the NPPF. He also noted that the plans failed the sequential test required for retail applications “that are not in an existing centre or in accordance with an up-to-date local plan”.
Basingstoke retailer Mark Buttress (pictured far right), of Jaybee’s Convenience Store, said his business would have been severely impacted by the store. “Within one mile of the site there are five shopping parades which would also have been hurt. Within two miles there’s already an Asda, Morrisons, Lidl and Sainsbury’s - Tesco just wanted a slice of the pie.”
Mark was heavily involved in campaigning against the proposals and gave evidence at the planning inspectorate’s inquiry. “This shows it can be done. Never say never to the monster that is Tesco,” he said.
But Jonathan Wallace, director of consultancy Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners (NLP), said out-of-town retail applications which would have been turned down a few years ago, are now being approved. “Economic factors are being weighed in the balance more. It is harder for local authorities to resist,” he told C-Store.
Since the NPPF was introduced approval rates for retail appeals have not changed, according to an NLP report.