Long-awaited Tesco store plan sent back by council

PUBLISHED: 14:10 12 March 2008 | UPDATED: 13:01 06 May 2010

TESCO s long-awaited application for its proposed store in St Albans has been sent back by planners within weeks of it being submitted. The supermarket chain finally submitted its application for a 4,000 square metre store to be built on the site of the E

TESCO's long-awaited application for its proposed store in St Albans has been sent back by planners within weeks of it being submitted.

The supermarket chain finally submitted its application for a 4,000 square metre store to be built on the site of the Eversheds print works in London Road, to the district council just over a month ago.

The firm had come under fire for the delay in submitting a planning application while it carried out consultation.

But council planners were unable to register the application because some information was not supplied and it cannot be processed until the missing details are provided.

St Albans council's planning portfolio holder Chris Brazier confirmed that there was not enough information on the application to register it but could not say what details were missing.

But he said that to his knowledge it was not information that was just pertinent to submitting an application to St Albans council but would be required at any Tesco development in the country.

He added: "You would have thought they would have got it right."

Cllr Brazier also warned that the council still had every intention of ensuring the empty houses in London Road would go back into use if Tesco did not carry out the work within the required time frame.

Tesco corporate affairs manager Michael Kissman said it was simply a case of the council asking for more details after the application had been handed in which Tesco were happy to provide them with.

This information included floor plans of the locally-listed properties in London Road and larger-scale drawings of the store.

He pointed out that the latter would not normally be requested until a later stage of the application process but Tesco was happy to comply with the council.

He added: "We have handed in a robust, detailed planning application. We have given what we thought was needed. The council has come back for more information. We have had meetings with planning officers and our architects are giving them detailed drawings at the moment."

He expected the planning application to be back on track by the end of the week.

Simon Hepburn of the Stop Tesco campaign in St Albans said: "Tesco needs to stop wasting time and actually get a proper application in. We've been waiting for eight years for the chance to reject it and get on with using the land for something useful for the people of St Albans.

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