Permission for the first stage of creating a new supermarket in Fulwood looks likely to be granted.Advertisement
Preston City Council planning officials have earmarked a 4,000 square metre supermarket, petrol station, pub, restaurant and new shops just off Eastway for approval.
The plans were due to be heard in August but were delayed after Lancashire County Council’s highways department raised major objections to the access to the new retail park.
Planning officers write: “Since the submission of the planning application discussions and negotiations have taken place with the applicant. These discussions have resulted in the position of the proposed access from Eastway being amended to 28m further west than originally proposed to address concerns raised by County Highways. Additionally, the applicant has proposed a number of on-site and off-site highway infrastructure improvements that were not part of the original submission in response to initial concerns raised by County Highways.”
Approval of the Eastway supermarket could throw into doubt the future of an £80 million housing development and new large-scale Tesco at Cottam Brickworks.
Landowners behind the Cottam scheme, as well as those of other large retail developments in the city, have objected fiercely to the plans.
One writes: “There will not be operator demand for both the proposed development and the approved foodstore at Cottam. The application is speculative and would put the Cottam District Centre at risk. In the last two years Tesco, Asda and Morrisons have all announced plans to roll out a reduced number of larger stores, which supports the view that there is a lack of operator demand for two stores. Based on the applicant’s own calculations the Cottam store would not achieve the average sales density of the top four supermarkets, which would undermine its attractiveness to potential operators and risk the delivery of the Cottam District Centre.”
Ingol councillor Neil Darby said: “The opposition I have to the Eastway Hub is primarily that it jeopardises the Brickworks development in Ingol (the Cottam District Centre). The Cottam District Centre is incorporated into the Local Plan laid out for Preston, unlike the two developments I’m opposing, and will provide much needed services and infrastructure not only for the residents of Ingol and Cottam, but also for the new houses which are due to be built in the area as part of the large scale development of North West Preston.”
20 letters of objection from nearby residents were received about the plans.
Planning officers in their conclusion say the developer has offered to fund major transport improvements in the area as part of the scheme.
They write: “The proposed development does not comply with the relevant retail policies of the development plan however in such circumstances the retail tests of the Framework are a material consideration and have been applied. The applicant has demonstrated that the proposed development satisfies both retail tests. Furthermore the applicant acknowledges and supports the delivery of the Preston Western Distributor Road and has agreed to fund specific transport infrastructure and sustainable transport mitigation works that would contribute towards the delivery of the major road upgrades to Eastway (associated with the delivery of the east-west spine road), which overcome initial concerns related to the traffic impacts of the development. The proposed development is therefore recommended for approval.”
The full officers report can be read on the city council website.
Councillors on the planning committee will meet from 10am on Monday 3 November at the Town Hall to discuss the plans.
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