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Friday, 19 December 2014

Grange superstore plans could be reviewed

CONTROVERSIAL plans for a new supermarket in a South Lakeland town could be sent back to the drawing board.

At a packed meeting, South Lakeland District Council’s planning committee opted to reconsider permission for a new Booths store in Grange.

They stated economic conditions had changed since the original approval was granted in 2009.

The meeting was also told that the town’s Berners site could now be in the running as the location for a supermarket following the collapse of the Berners Vision Partnership plan last year.

The committee is now set to visit the proposed Booths site – at Bateman Toyota, in Main Street – once more before discussing the matter again.

Grange councillor Tom Harvey urged his committee colleagues to reject Booths request to extend the time limit on their planning permission.

He told the meeting: “I don’t think it’s unfair to say that a further extension to this planning application is in fact a planning blight for the town. It carries too much uncertainty for our traders.

“This is not a small application for a conservatory, it is huge. I would urge members to turn this application down so that Booths have to resubmit and it can be properly re-assessed. We can’t allow the town to exist in such uncertainty for another three years.”

Francis Chainey, one of the directors of Grange’s family-owned Spar shop was one of a number of objectors to address the committee.

He said: “In 2008, Tesco was not awarded the Berners site because residents decided they didn’t want a supermarket in the town.

“Booths is just a Tesco wolf in sheep’s clothing.

“This gives us the chance to stop this and retain the lovely heritage of Grange, rather than allow the loss of shops and jobs that would lead to it become a ghost town.”

Grange town councillors said they were against allowing Booths to extend its planning permission for an extra three years.

A statement supplied to SLDC’s planning committee claimed the threat of a supermarket coming to the town was preventing new businesses moving to the area to fill empty shops.

But Councillor David Williams explained there were no planning grounds on which to refuse Booths’ request. He said: “I have every sympathy with the objectors on this matter but their reasons for refusal don’t meet the criteria set in 2009.

“I think we vote against this at our peril because it will simply be overturned on appeal.”

But SLDC chairman Councillor Sylvia Emmott said the right way forward was to defer the decision.

“This is a very important issue that we are facing here today and I don’t believe we have all the information before us so that the right decision can be made for the people of Grange.”

Have your say

To oppose a Booths is not to deserve one...

Posted by zzx271 on 9 March 2012 at 16:39

As a member of public who went to the planning meeting yesterday in Kendal, there was more than just Grange councillors talking sense regarding a supermarket coming to Grange and it seems where a councillors seen first hand experience of what harm a supermarket can do to a town they are making it quite clear that the proposed site in Grange is not the place to be building one.

Posted by Andrew on 29 February 2012 at 18:50

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