Tesco expansion scheme approved at Weston in Bath
Councillors have given the green light to a scheme that will allow the expansion of the Tesco supermarket in Weston.
At a meeting of B&NES Council’s development control committee, councillors voted in favour of a scheme that will also see flats created above the shop.
The decision had already been delayed until councillors had been on a site visit, to assess concerns from residents about parking and the impact on smaller businesses.
Nine councillors voted to give the plans the go-ahead, while three were against the idea, which had been recommended for approval by planning officials.
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Councillor Eleanor Jackson (Lab, Radstock) said: “I think that the officers are right to recommend that we permit this, though I would urge a case for a parking plan.
“On the site visit I was struck by the ugliness of the car park and building.
“This seems to be to be a development that will enhance the conservation area of Weston.”
The scheme has proved controversial, with some residents arguing there is not enough parking for a larger supermarket and others expressing concerns that it will harm 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.
Councillor Martin Veal (Con, Bathavon North ) expressed concerns over parking.
He said: “An extension will inevitably lead to an increase in use.
“An expansion will topple the capacity of the car park.
“Enlarge this facility and it will blight the village of Weston forever.”
Geoff Richards, agent for the developers Bath Weston One shrugged off the parking fears.
“This is not a public car park, and it does not fall on my clients to provide parking for people using the High Street.
“Rather than increasing the number of shoppers by increasing the shop our research has shown that it will just change the nature of their shop.”
Ward councillor Colin Barrett (Con, Weston), and resident Georgina Clampett-Dix spoke against the plans.
They argued that parking was already a major problem in the area and that the proposed scheme would only make matters worse.
Mr Barrett said: “I have put together a petition with 500 signatures on it opposing the plans.
“Car parking in Weston is already a major issue, so to reduce parking when the store will double in size is not logical.”