Sunday, April 3, 2011

Tesco gets go-ahead from Worthing council – yet again!

Worthing Council prefers big to small and rides roughshod over local people.-So much for Cameron's Big Society nonsense.

A report c/o Porkbolter

On March 30 Worthing council gave permission for the ninth Tesco in Worthing borough. But at least there was some opposition this time, with a spirited effort by campaigners, residents and shopkeepers,  initiated by Worthing Solidarity Network. We received this report from one of the campaigners just before the meeting.
“A protest was organised on the old Caffyns site in Goring Road on Saturday 12 March along with the setting up of a petition for Worthing Council to refuse planning permission for the site.

The response from local residents was incredible and within just 2 hours over 300 people signed the petition.
The campaign grew and various shops in Goring took on the petion the following week and within 10 days of the original petition starting, more than 1,000  had signed.Leaflets were also handed out to various shops with addresses of where to send letters of objections to the planning application.

In the meantime Worthing Council had decided to change their mind on how to consider the planning application as this was going to be dealt with under delegated powers.  Which meant the decision wasn't going to be made by the planning committee but by Council officials which is extremely undemocratic.
Delegated powers are given in the UK to planning officers to determine some planning applications without the requirement for the application to be put before a planning committee.

Mr Appleton said in line with other councils, Worthing’s scheme of delegation ensures all major planning applications (defined as those over 10 dwellings or 1,000 sq m of commercial floorspace) are considered by the planning committee, as well as those which conflict with planning policies but the floorspace of this building is less than 1,000 square metres.

Presumably this law will make it easier for large corporations to by smaller premises without having to go through the planning committee stage, therfore this is possibly why we see more and more Tesco Express's.
But because of people power the Executive Head of Planning, James Appleton decided after all this should be heard in front of the planning committee at their meeting on the 30 March.”

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