Essex: Pressure group to commission own expert retail study into Sainsbury’s and Tesco extension plans

A PRESSURE group is asking for donors to fund an independent report into the Tesco planning application.

A CAMPAIGN group is asking for donors as it seeks to fund an independent report into the Tesco planning application.

The supermarket giant wants to build an extension to its Radwinter Road site.

However, Save Walden Town Centre (SWTC) is concerned about the “poor” quality of advice being fed to the planning authority, Uttlesford District Council, and is willing to commission its own expert retail study.

That follows the council’s own study amid the Sainsbury’s and Tesco applications, submitted by consultants Savills in May.

Spokesman Paul Gadd said: “We believe that both of [Savills] reports have serious defects, particularly in accepting the claims made by Tesco and Sainsbury of the likely future growth of retail expenditure in Saffron Walden, and of the likely turnover of the new stores.

“Because the appraisal accepts Tesco’s claims for the extended store’s future turnover and doesn’t question the growth figures, it predicts that the expansion would not have a significant effect on Saffron Walden.

Most Read

“We believe that the claims made by Tesco are completely unrealistic - and indeed in many cases are directly contradicted by other planning applications made by Tesco - and that the extension would have a huge impact on the town centre.”

A council spokesman said that any submissions made by the group “will be taken into account when the council decides the application”.

SWTC is looking for donations to carry out its own study. Donations should be sent to Peter Riding, 30 Castle Street, Saffron Walden CB10 1BJ in favour of ‘Save Walden Town Centre’.