North Norfolk District Council is taking legal advice after its combined development control committee rejected its officer’s recommendation in favour of a Tesco store proposal in Cromer Road, Sheringham.
Members voted instead to approve an alternative retail-led application by the Greenhouse Community Project.
This involves plans for a Waitrose store on Weybourne Road as well as a proposed food academy, kitchen garden and allotments. The decision followed a four-hour meeting. A total of 11 councillors voted in favour, six against.
Councillor Virginia Gay, leader of the council, said: “There has been a long and impassioned debate. People have expressed themselves very coherently, and after weighing all the issues, the committee has decided it wishes to refuse the Cromer Road application and approve the Weybourne Road plan.
“However, the decision raises a number of legal issues so the committee agreed that it needs to be referred to a specialist planning lawyer to ensure it is a sound decision, in planning terms.”
The committee gave delegated authority for officers to approve the Greenhouse Community Project and reject the Tesco plan.
James Frost, director of the Norfolk branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, said: “The Tesco store has always been too large for Sheringham and would have caused a serious impact on local traders, the town centre and tourism. Sheringham has been a test case for the new Planning Policy Statement 4 which asks councils to look at the size of stores in terms of gross floor space and impact on the wider local economy.”
Read the North Norfolk District Council press release
11 March 2010