Plans for a new Tesco convenience store in Shipston were approved by planners at Stratford District Council last night, despite opposition from local residents and the Town Council.
The supermarket giant previously gained planning permission to develop the Pettiphers Garage site on Church Street in 2014, but that permission expired in 2017.
The plan had comprised of a ground floor retail unit with three two-bedroom flats on the floor above.
Tesco submitted this new application in 2017 following the expiration of the previous permission, again for a retail store and three two-bed flats, with parking for three vehicles.
Tesco argue that the development would create new jobs and that the current disused garage forecourt is out of keeping with the area.
The retailer adds that it believes the proposed opening hours of 7am-11pm are acceptable, given that there are already a number of late-opening businesses operating nearby and that significant weight should be given to the fact that the previous application gained planning permission.
The town council reiterated its objection to the scheme arguing that there is no need for a new convenience store, the proposed parking is inadequate and that it poses a risk to road safety.
The council stated that the opening hours would be detrimental to nearby residents and that the proposal is contrary to the adopted Shipston Neighbourhood Plan, with the mass, scale and intensity of the proposed development deemed unacceptable.
23 letters of objection from local residents were also submitted, expressing similar concerns.
Shipston mayor Cllr Dan Scobie, said: “My personal view is that I don’t think Tesco have any intention to ever develop that site and this application is just to get planning permission so the land would be worth more to sell on. I do think it would be beneficial for Shipston for that site to be redeveloped, it has been vacant for a number of years, but I think what Tesco are putting forward is wrong for that space. A convenience store is meant to be convenient and it doesn’t have adequate parking, they will expect shoppers to park in the Telegraph Street Car Park and walk there, but there isn’t a pavement, are they expecting people to walk in the road? I’m disappointed that the Highways Department has not supported us on this point.”