The Evening Echo’s Latest Coverage on Planning

David Giles at the Evening Echo reports as follows:

Asda backs down in a superstore row
By David Giles

Supermarket giant Asda has withdrawn its appeal against a council decision to refuse permission for a store in Rayleigh.Councillors have refused two applications and said they feared the supermarket would appeal against the second refusal. Asda hoped to build a medium-sized store on the Rawreth Lane site.

Councillor Chris Black said: “The officers strongly recommended approval, but we turned both the applications down.

“The second one was a slight improvement, because it allowed a bit more space for community use.

“When someone from Asda was at the planning meeting, they told one of the residents they had lost round one, but they would be back.

“Well they have just lost round two and we will wait to see what happens next.”

Last year, Asda applied for most of the site to be a supermarket, in addition to some houses being built and and some land being set aside for community use.

Mr Black said he was particularly worried about increased traffic and the effect on nearby high streets.

He said: “It was expected the plans would lead to the traffic being increased by between 30 and 50 per cent. The Asda store would have a turnover of ?26million per year, which would damage the high streets in Rayleigh and Hullbridge.”

Campaigner Steve Springham, of Rawreth Lane, welcomed the decision, but was angry officers recommended the scheme for approval.

He said: “There seems to be one rule for one and one for another. “There was a woman who wanted to build a beauty studio at Lubbards Farm, but it was recommended for refusal because it would take business away from the High Street. “But what about the impact of this development on the town centre?”