Breaking news: UDC to revise Tesco application for Saffron Walden

PLANNING permission to expand the Saffron Walden Tesco store is to be reconsidered by Uttlesford District Council after “new evidence” has come to light.

In a twist to the town’s supermarket war, Sainsbury’s, who want to build a new store and petrol station on Thaxted Road, have requested that the Tesco application be judged on the same criteria that their application will be judged in a few weeks time.

As a result UDC has agreed to reconsider the Tesco planning application, despite already granting permission last December.

Normally, after an application is approved by the committee the official “decision notice” is then issued within days.

In this case though, the council first required an agreement with Tesco and Essex County Council to provide funding for highway improvements to help with addressing air quality concerns and for a travel plan. This delayed the decision notice.

In the meantime, new evidence has become available from a household survey which forms part of a district retail survey for the local town plan.

Sainsbury’s contacted the council, and stated if the evidence is used in deciding its revised application, then it should also be used to reconsider the Tesco application.

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The council confirmed that it will review its decision before any decision notice is issued and this will require a report to the Development Control Committee.

However, a date for this has not yet been set.

In the meantime, the council has requested its consultants Savills to produce a further report examining whether, in the light of the district retail study work, there is any change to its previous advice on the impact of the Tesco extension.

This report will also look at the cumulative impact of the Tesco and the Sainsbury’s applications and what the impact would be of the new Sainsbury’s application alone.