90 members of public at store showdown
The Sheringham supermarket showdown, which could at last see the end of a saga that began more than a decade ago, kicked off this morning. Crowds began gathering outside the North Norfolk District Council offices in Cromer more than an hour ahead of the beginning of the development control committee meeting which started at 9.
The Sheringham supermarket showdown, which could at last see the end of a saga that began more than a decade ago, kicked off this morning.
Crowds began gathering outside the North Norfolk District Council offices in Cromer more than an hour ahead of the beginning of the development control committee meeting which started at 9.30am.
Places in the main council chamber, which will hear arguments for and against the two rival supermarket plans from Tesco and Waitrose, were quickly taken by representatives for the applicants, press, councillors and public speakers.
An overflow room, with space for about 50 spectators and a live feed from the meeting, was full by 9am and a second, in the council's canteen, was also opened.
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Officials said there were 90 members of the public attending.
Clive Hay-Smith, the man behind the Greenhouse Community Project, which would be run by Waitrose if planning permission is given, set up with his team on one side of the chamber while Tesco spokesman Nick Gellatly sat with a group opposite.
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Members of Sheringham's Chamber of Trade and town council were in attendance, along with speakers from groups who have spent years fighting for and against plans for a Tesco store in the area.
District council officers have recommended the Tesco plans, for a 1,175 sq m shop on Cromer Road, for approval while councillors have been advised to turn down the rival proposals for a 1,250 sq m Waitrose store on Weybourne Road because it is too far out of town.
Tesco first began its bid to build a supermarket in the north Norfolk seaside town back in 1996 while Mr Hay-Smith joined the fight with his plans, which would have a neighbouring food academy, just last year.