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Tesco plan 'best yet' meeting told

PUBLISHED: 12:07 04 March 2010 | UPDATED: 10:25 13 July 2010

Members of the public watch the proceedings via a live TV link at today's store meeting.

Members of the public watch the proceedings via a live TV link at today's store meeting.

Backers of two rival stores in Sheringham have outlined their visions during the first two hours of the much-awaited supermarket showdown.

Councillors, businessmen, residents, school pupils and head teachers all had their say this morning.

Backers of two rival stores in Sheringham have outlined their visions during the first two hours of the much-awaited supermarket showdown.

Councillors, businessmen, residents, school pupils and head teachers all had their say this morning.

Officers for North Norfolk District Council began by outlining their views on the two conflicting schemes put forward by Tesco and the Greenhouse Community Project - which would be run by Waitrose.

Geoff Lyon, acting development control manager for the council, took councillors through the plans with Tesco's Cromer Road scheme coming out on top because of its edge-of-centre location.

The officer said the latest proposals from the supermarket giant were “the best yet” and would encourage customers to continue into the town.

Meanwhile the Greenhouse and Waitrose scheme, which would also include a food academy, was deemed inappropriate largely due to the 1km walk or drive that shoppers would need to make from the town centre.

In total 14 speakers, plus a representative from the town council, addressed the room offering a varied mixture of views in favour and against both proposals.

Outlining his vision for the Greenhouse scheme, Clive Hay-Smith urged councillors to put policy issues aside and embrace the “unique opportunity for a pioneering multi-stranded scheme” which his plan offered in contrast to Tesco's retail-only offering.

Sheringham High School student Hope Worsdale, clutching a plastic globe, spoke passionately in favour of the environment and the Greenhouse scheme which she said would act as a beacon for retailers across the country and encourage further eco-friendly development.

She said: “It is the way forward with genuine values and beliefs which are needed to get us out of the mess we are in. The mess my generation will have to live with.”

Nick Gellatly, speaking for Tesco, insisted the latest plans answered all of the concerns raised against previous applications including size and distance from the town centre.

He said: “We have listened, as we promised to do, to local people and to the planning inspector.”

Jono Read, who runs a Facebook group supporting the Tesco plans, addressed fears that the Cromer Road site would mean an end to many of the smaller independent shops, insisting: “Tesco won't kill the town”.

He said the plans and the prospect of new jobs created by them would be welcomed by many.

He said: “Weekend, night time and holiday jobs are exactly what people like me are calling out for.”

Councillors will soon beginning considering whether to grant permission to either of the proposals.


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