Planners reject bid for Tesco superstore in St Albans

PUBLISHED: 11:50 01 July 2008 | UPDATED: 13:25 06 May 2010

The proposed store in London Road

The proposed store in London Road

A RESOUNDING no greeted the proposal to build a Tesco superstore in St Albans at the meeting to determine the application last night (Monday). Councillors on the district council s planning referrals committee unanimously rejected the plans for a 6,480 s

A RESOUNDING no greeted the proposal to build a Tesco superstore in St Albans at the meeting to determine the application last night (Monday).

Councillors on the district council's planning referrals committee unanimously rejected the plans for a 6,480 square-metre store plus parking for 477 cars and other retail outlets on the former Eversheds site in London Road.

About 250 people turned out for the meeting at the Alban Arena which saw numerous councillors and public speakers make clear their objections to the plans while Michael Kissman of Tesco spoke of the need for the store.

The committee stuck to the eight reasons for refusal recommended in their officers' report and added a further two grounds for objection -- the effect the store would have on air quality and the vitality of the city centre.

Other reasons for refusal included an increase in traffic and the impact on the Conservation Area together with noise and disturbance.

It is thought that Tesco will appeal against the decision which will ultimately lead to a public inquiry.

LibDem Parliamentary candidate for St Albans, Sandy Walkington, said: "This was absolutely the right decision. It was very important that the councillors strengthened the grounds for refusal by adding in their concerns about air pollution and damage to the city centre.

"Local residents have won the first battle tonight. But this is just the end of the beginning of the campaign. We now face the real battle of a public inquiry with all the expense to the public purse and to local residents.

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