Chairman's Blog - August 2021

Residents will have been devastated to learn that the Redrow plans to build 7 tower blocks up to 15 stories high on the Tesco Extra car park site have been approved by the Planning Inspector. She was hearing an appeal by Redrow against the Council’s decision to refuse the application. 

Our view is that it was open to her to dismiss the appeal, on the wealth of evidence provided by the Council’s excellent witnesses, individual residents, and by our Residents’ Association.  However, she decided, following 11 days of intensive evidence, a site visit, and some 6 months of deliberation, to allow Redrow’s appeal. 

The reasons she gave in her 34 page judgment were to give priority on balance to the need for further accommodation, since the Council could not show that they had a 5 year supply of

 The Inspector took the view, despite our strenuous objections to the contrary, that the views of the buildings both close up and from a distance had only a “minor adverse impact” and would not be “harmful or out of place”. She also decided that the parking provision on site “would be acceptable”.  We did secure a condition that, if a Controlled Parking Zone had to be imposed on local streets because of the lack of parking for new residents, those residents (at least those who were not disabled) would not be able to apply for a permit in those streets. 

She held that there was a clear distinction between this part of the Tesco site, which she said was ripe for regeneration, and had been an industrial area, and the 2-storey suburban housing on the other side of Burlington Road.  

Of course, this will not be the end of the building in this area. We fully expect now that the developers will be back with yet further plans to build on the rest of the Tesco site, which will probably include knocking down the present Tesco store and building more towers blocks over and around it. 

We regret very much that there is no way to challenge this decision. 

 John Elvidge

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