Delay to Tesco bid to expand Bath supermarket
A decision on plans to expand the Tesco supermarket in Bath and create new flats above the shop has been delayed while councillors arrange a visit to the site.
Members of Bath and North East Somerset Council’s development control committee met yesterday afternoon to discuss developer Bath Weston One’s application for Weston High Street.
The scheme has proved controversial, with some residents arguing there is not sufficient parking for a larger supermarket and others expressing concerns that it will dominate the smaller businesses on the High Street.
It would more than double the size of the shop, introduce six two-bedroom flats, but reduce the number of car parking spaces from 24 to 15.
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Councillor Colin Barrett (Con, Weston), resident David Vernalls and Georgina Clampett-Dix, who was speaking on behalf of people living in Church Street, all gave statements opposing the plans.
They all agreed that parking was already a major problem in the village and the proposed scheme would only make matters worse.
Mr Barrett said: “It would not make sense to create Bath’s biggest Tesco site without proper parking provision. This would simply result in the car parking available for local traders being used by Tesco customers.”
Weston’s other ward representative Councillor Malcolm Lees (Ind, Weston), who is on the planning committee, withdrew himself from the debate and vote because he was concerned about rumours around the village that he was in favour of the scheme.
However, he did give a statement saying that there was a “silent majority” who wanted a larger supermarket because it would allow them to do a weekly shop close to home.
He added that the new shop would be similar in size to the Co-op in Larkhall, which only had ten car parking spaces and had not proved to be a problem.
The committee members discussed the need to only consider relevant planning issues surrounding the scheme, which had been recommended for approval by officers.
Concerns were raised that a similar scheme had been rejected in the past, the council had lost on appeal and had then been forced to pay out a large amount of money in costs.
Councillor Les Kew (Con, High Littleton) said it was a complicated matter and the committee needed to visit the site to get a better understanding of the issues.
This was agreed and the application will now be considered at a meeting in November.