Stalham says no to bigger Tesco

Ed FossPlans to double the size of the Tesco store in Stalham received the thumbs down from town leaders on Wednesday night.Members of Stalham Town Council voted six to two against the plans, as well as suggesting a series of changes if it were to receive approval.Ed Foss

Plans to double the size of the Tesco store in Stalham received the thumbs down from town leaders on Wednesday night.

Members of Stalham Town Council voted six to two against the plans, as well as suggesting a series of changes if it were to receive approval.

They cited a series of concerns including the health of the High Street, traffic flow, the need for a reduced speed limit on the A149, badly located disabled parking and the location of a recycling centre.

There was also a key concern about part of the extension site, which is currently nominated as employment land by an overarching district development plan, but supermarkets are counted as retail land.


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The final decision on the plans rests with a North Norfolk District Council committee, which is expected to consider the application at a public planning meeting in mid-February.

The town council is a consultee and its view will be one of many which the district will consider.

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Around 30 members of the public attended the town council's single item meeting in the town hall, with many of those present expressing their views in a public participation session.

Town council chairman Tony Ross-Benham explained there had been two working parties called before last night's gathering to assess what planning conditions should be requested if the application were to go ahead.

One objector said his main concern was traffic flow, adding: 'No one will be able to get into Stalham, the whole thing is going to grind to a halt, it will isolate Stalham completely.'

Another said the design of a new roundabout which would be built on the A149 past the town as part of the plans was wrong and would cause traffic problems.

One person said the planned building was 'ugly', while another said its size would separate the town and Stalham Staithe in the same manner as the Berlin Wall.

Several people said they felt Stalham businesses were just getting over the opening of the original store in 2002 and the last thing they needed was another hurdle. But there was also a view that traders who operated their businesses well would survive irrespective of Tesco's presence.

There was also difference of opinion on the subject of the jobs which would be created by Tesco, which several people said would be cancelled out - or worse - by those lost on the High Street through closures.

A 1,700 name petition has been gathered in the town objecting to the expansion.

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