Tesco has ditched plans to develop a supermarket in the Welsh town of Llanwrst, in a case which raised serious concerns over the transparency of local planning policy.
Conwy County Borough Council (CCBC) had been accused of ignoring the concerns of local traders and residents over the development of a 28,000sq ft supermarket, and of conducting negotiations behind closed doors. The case had prompted the intervention of local politicians, who urged the council to act with greater transparency.
But the developer for Tesco, Consolidated Property Group (CPG), has now announced that Tesco will not proceed with the plans.
“The developer has informed Conwy County Borough Council that their client does not intend to proceed with developing a store at Llanrwst,” council leader Dilwyn Roberts announced this week.
He added that the council would progress with the Vision for Llanrwst and associated action plan “with the involvement of the local community and businesses”.
Conservative MP for Aberconwy Guto Bebb and Assembly Member Janet Finch-Saunders had both recently written to the leader of Conwy council to raise concerns over the issue and call for a more open planning process.
Bebb wrote: “I know you would be horrified that residents of Llanrwst are increasingly of the view that a new 28,000sq ft supermarket is a development which has already been agreed behind closed doors.”
In a reference to C-Store, he added: “Such is the perception of events in Llanrwst that I have even found myself this week fielding calls from national trade magazines making similar allegations about the process within Conwy Planning Authority.
“It is my opinion that there is now an urgent need for a significant process of information sharing and public consultation within Llanrwst and the surrounding area in order to allow people a full say on proposals which, whether you favour them or not, will have a profound impact on the town.”
Finch-Saunders said the situation “leaves a great deal to be desired” and urged all parties to work together in a “transparent, accountable and democratically legitimate” way.
“Failure to act at this time will only fuel the anger and frustration expressed to me by my constituents and has the potential to bring the name of Conwy County Borough Council into disrepute,” she wrote.