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Store's click and collect rejected

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PLANNING bosses have thrown out a Warrington supermarket’s plan for a “click and collect” service.
Members of the borough council’s planning committee decided the proposal at the Asda supermarket at Westbrook would be damaging to the amenities of nearby residents.
The scheme, which involved a 4.1 metre high canopy on the existing car park, was unanimously refused by the committee.
Nearby residents, supported by local councillor Keith Gleave (pictured) had lodged strong objections.
The proposal aimed to offer customers an alternative to online shopping, where goods would be ordered online and then delivered to the customer’s home.
It involved the loss of 12 parking spaces, although the facility was planned an under-used of the car park.
Cllr Gleave argued that the development result in a loss of residential amenity, an increase in effective retail selling space and the loss of parking spaces.
He likened the structure to a gazebo and accused the supermarket of “creeping development” on the site.
“This structure, measuring 4.5m high with 1m deep full-length advertising banners, would have been visible to residents of Westbrook Crescent and another eyesore from Asda. We are delighted that the Committee agreed with us.”
Nearby residents claimed the illuminated canopy would be out of keeping with the area, having an adverse effect on residential amenity.
They also claimed the site was inappropriate because it was close to a tight junction.
Officers are recommended the plan be approved, although they admitted there was no evidence to suggest that “click and collect” shopping would result in either higher or lower traffic levels.

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8 Comments

  1. It is great the worries and real concerns of local residents are increasingly being taken into consideration by Members of the borough council’s planning committee. This is welcome change and the Members from all political parties should be thanked for making it.

  2. One of the greatest concerns of the people of Warrington is that the town’s planning officers are so out of touch with not only residents views but also in this instance the views of the planning committee. They often make recommendations contrary to the Local Plan and seniors have been rail-roaded by the Ombudsman for being ‘misleading’. If our councillors are to be truly receptive to the voice of the people then they need to address the shortcomings in the planning dept. The planning committee will all be aware that this particular decision – because it is contrary to planning officers recommendation – can be more easily challenged.

  3. The Ombudsman railroaded (= coerce or rush someone into doing something they were unwilling to do) no one in the council. The LGO rightly decided officers had been misleading, not once but three times in the last decade on different cases. Nothing seems to change. Some officers were even economical with the truth. They mislead, as you say Sha, not only residents but also Members and until this flaw in the planning department make up is put right we will be the loosers. How to do so is the question – by selective cull or clean sweep? Whichever it is the planning department needs to start providing the Members with factually proper briefings so that decisions can be made by Members on behalf of the Council which are not portrayed as either or options, as has been the case so often in the past.

  4. “How to do so is the question – by selective cull or clean sweep?” I don’t think it would be fair for everyone in the planning dept to lose their jobs due to the actions of others. The LGO identified who had been misleading, one would have expected the cull to start there. But there has been no change and those who have been found by the LGO to be ‘misleading’ and ‘economical with the truth’ are still in office. Whilst this situation is allowed to continue how can the public have confidence in the planning system?

  5. I don’t live in the area so I’m not aware of the details. But I am quite content to accept the local residents did not raise their objections if it is as simplictic as you seem to believe. I doubt also the local Councillor Ken Gleave would have raised “strong objections” if it just amounted to “loosing a few car parking spaces” equating to “a loss of local amenities”.

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