Tesco superstore plans for Middlewich face another major setback as appeal lodged

First published in News Middlewich Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Entertainment Reporter

SUPERSTORE plans for Middlewich face another setback after Tesco lodged an appeal with a Government planning inspector.

The grocery giant won permission from Cheshire East Council on February 29 to triple the size of its Southway store.

On the same day, another set of plans were refused due to a ‘cramped’ layout near Wallcroft Gardens and the service yard’s proximity to 8 Southway, a listed building.

But instead of making a start on the approved scheme, Tesco has launched a public inquiry for the rejected proposal to be re-evaluated by the Secretary of State.

Gillian Ikin’s family home Ivy Cottage is within the development ground.

The 74-year-old now lives in White Lodge in Newton Heath just metres from the proposed site.

“I just want Tesco to get on with it - it’s ridiculous,” she said.

“It’s been going on for years and years and I’ve had enough.

“Ten years ago I was told to look for somewhere else to live as there’s been two or three developers interested in the land.”

Gillian told the Guardian that this has caused some aspects of her life to be put on hold, including plans to refurbish her bathroom.

She added: “Every time I’ve gone to do something about it I get a phone call saying: ‘We might need your property’ or I’ve had to go to a solicitor to sign an option form.”

Tesco’s plans that were approved by Cheshire East would have seen the supermarket buy a section of the current car park owned by the council.

Town Mayor Simon McGrory said: “Since Cheshire East secured the sale of the land needed to complete the approved scheme, we thought the appeal would have been removed.

“We were told work was due to start this year. It’s frustrating that we can’t get a definitive answer out of Tesco.”

Tesco also had earlier plans approved in August 2009 which are about to expire.

Patricia Cooley, of Residents Against Tesco Expansion, added: “This is a good opportunity for Tesco to clarify matters because there are rumours going around that the scheme isn’t going ahead.

“People have been saying to me: ‘Why haven’t they started? What has happened and why haven’t they got on with it?’ “They think it’s a lost cause, they think Tesco will do what they like.”

A spokesman for Tesco was not available as the Guardian went to press.

In the grounds for appeal, Tesco argues that:

- The development will provide an improved environment adjacent to homes in Wallcroft Gardens

- The new service yard is in a similar location to the current service yard and would not adversely affect the listed building, 8 Southway

- Any harm to the setting of the listed building is unlikely to be substantial and would be outweighed by positive economic and social benefits to the community.

Representations must be made in writing before August 9 to The Secretary, Planning Inspectorate, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol, BS1 6PN quoting appeal reference APP/R0660/A/12/2177564/NWF

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