Duty to resist
SIR, — From Tesco s point of view it is of course perfectly understandable that they would wish to further increase the number of supermarkets they already have in St Albans to increase the modest annual profits the company achieves every year. From the p
SIR, - From Tesco's point of view it is of course perfectly understandable that they would wish to further increase the number of supermarkets they already have in St Albans to increase the modest annual profits the company achieves every year.
From the point of view of the city of St Albans however, it is far from clear that the city needs yet another supermarket. The current choice of large, medium and small supermarkets is extensive, quite apart from internet shopping.
I do not believe the evidence put forward by Tesco to suggest that there is such a need. This planning application is about Tesco's business growth rather than a real need in St Albans or an expressed desire by local people for them to be here.
In relation to planning issues, the traffic on London Road already tails back at all times of the day. I cannot recall it ever flowing freely. To locate a very large supermarket, with other shops as well, on a very major route into St Albans would be madness. Why not another, more appropriate location?
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It is understandable that traffic flow would not be an important consideration for Tesco once they have planning approval. However approval would have a permanent impact on local people and those visiting. It would greatly worsen the quality of life and mobility of many people every day trying to get into town to shop or to work, with no intention of going to Tesco.Why should they suffer purely for Tesco?
St Albans District Council is already concerned by the fragility of the shopping environment in the city, illustrated by the number of closed shops in the High Street. How many people who would otherwise come to shop here, would be put off by greater traffic delays and even worse congestion on their way in and out of town? A calculation by the district council of this potential loss of business to the city would seem to be essential in weighing up this planning application.
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I suggest it is our civic responsibility to reject this application.
Brampton Road, St Albans.