Long-time readers of Onlinefocus will know that Asda have applied for planning permission twice at the Park School Site- and been refused twice. The second application was a slight improvement on the first, because it allowed a bit more room for community uses.
At the time of the second application Asda put pressure on councillors by warning that if we refused them a second time, they would ‘play hard-ball’ and go back to the worse, first application: :
With regard to the outstanding Appeal the applicants confirm they wouldwithdraw the current appeal should permission be granted for the current application. The applicants advise that if permission were refused and the applicants have been forced to appeal against their wishes they will continue with the original proposals and not the current amended scheme. As such all modifications, including the offer of the
community hall would be lost.
The applicants advise further that in the Appeal they would contend the requirements of the legal agreement. They advise finally that it is highly likely they will seek costs against the Council given the circumstances.
However, Asda have changed their mind- they have withdrawn their appeal on their first application. We expect that they will now appeal on the second application, but that’s not certain.
Back in November , certain council officers gave very strong advice to councillors to pass the first application. They have been proved wrong.
Residents should be grateful to those councillors who had the courage to vote for refusal despite the heavy pressure they were put under.