First come, first served as crowds are expected for Tesco store planning meeting

PUBLISHED: 13:51 18 June 2008 | UPDATED: 13:22 06 May 2010

IT will be a case of first come, first served for people wanting to see whether Tesco s bid to build a superstore in St Albans gets the go-ahead from planners. Due to the huge amount of interest in the planning application for the site bordering London Ro

IT will be a case of first come, first served for people wanting to see whether Tesco's bid to build a superstore in St Albans gets the go-ahead from planners.

Due to the huge amount of interest in the planning application for the site bordering London Road and Alma Road, the district council will consider the application at the Alban Arena on June 30.

Despite the bigger venue, the council is warning people that seats will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. However disabled people can book seats in advance.

A council spokesperson said this week that more than 1,000 letters of objection to the Tesco bid had been received while just two letters in support of the scheme had arrived.

Stop Tesco activist Simon Hepburn said: "The rumoured silent majority appear to be staying very silent indeed."

He added that they had also submitted a petition with 5,780 signatures against the scheme.

The size of the proposed superstore is 6,480 square metres which does not include the seven independent shops or the 477 car-parking spaces.

Many of the objections are based around increased traffic congestion with a projected 70 per cent more traffic being generated in the area by the superstore.

As part of the plans, Tesco will refurbish 12 derelict houses in London Road to sell and will keep locally-listed houses in Alma Road - but three other locally-listed properties in Inkerman Road will be demolished.

Tesco is also offering to add a dedicated right-hand turn lane to enter the underground car park from London Road, separating shoppers' cars from other traffic.

There will also be a live webcast of the meeting broadcast via a link on the homepage of the council's website at www.stalbans.gov.uk

People with access to an appropriate computer with broadband internet access and Microsoft Windows media player will be able to view the meeting from home.

Anyone who wishes to register to speak at the meeting should phone the planning department on 01727 819345 on June 30 between 10am and 2.30pm. There may be a need for potential speakers to liaise and officers will be able to assist with this.

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