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Will council refuse Christchurch supermarket plans a second time?
10:00am Friday 12th October 2012 in Latest
THREE major supermarket schemes in Christchurch have been recommended for refusal for a second time.
Officers at Christchurch Borough Council made the recommendations ahead of a pivotal planning meeting on October 23.
Members of the planning committee will decide on Quantum's mixed-use Bailey Drive proposal and an application for a Morrisons at Stony Lane.
Due to Meteor Retail Park developer Brookhouse lodging an appeal against non-determination of its scheme, members will be asked to simply endorse the reasons for refusal for the scheme.
It will be the second time the applications will go before the committee following a reversal of all decisions made at a meeting in June, where councillors went against officer advice and approved the offer for Bailey Drive.
The reasons for refusal for the schemes cite the detrimental impact on the vitality and viability of Christchurch town centre.
They also fail the so-called “sequential test” set-up by the council, which assesses schemes against the preferred Magistrates Court site.
Simon Hammond, director at Quantum, said: “We have been overwhelmed and touched by the sheer weight of community support for our mixed-use proposal at Bailey Drive.
“We would like to express our sincere thanks to residents for their support and help to make this exciting development a reality.
“At the last special planning meeting, the committee awarded Bailey Drive consent.
“It is now going back to committee because of process, not the committee's decision. Our application remains unchanged and we remain optimistic that committee members will be consistent and again award planning consent for this exciting proposal.”
John Taylor, managing director for Beagle Technology Group, said: “Since June, we have worked hard to address all of their concerns. We have lowered the building by 3.5 metres, changed deliveries to use only Stony Lane, improved the attractiveness of the scheme and offered £500,000 investment for the town centre. Together with the improvements to Stony Lane roundabout, this represents a contribution to over £1.5m.
“However, I am most disappointed about the apparent lack of support from the council for the local jobs it would safeguard and create - 600 jobs are vital for the town, especially in the current economic climate.”