Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has rejected plans by Tesco to demolish an edge-of-town existing store at Trent Vale and replace it with a larger retail development which would have been built on stilts.
The scheme had been backed by Stoke City Council against the advice of officers but opposed by neighbouring Newcastle Borough Council and the North Staffordshire Regeneration Partnership.
They voiced concern that the expanded store – planned to increase from 5,342 sq m to 9,383 sq m - would have an adverse impact on Newcastle town centre.
The scheme was called in by Pickle’s predecessor and was the subject of a public inquiry held in July. The inspector recommended that the proposal should be refused.
The decision letter made it clear that the Secretary of State agreed with the inspector that the project conflicted with development plan policies designed to direct development to town centres and failed to demonstrate compliance with the sequential approach required.
The letter said: “While there is some development plan and PPS1 support for the proposals, and it could offer benefits in terms of climate change, accessibility, design, regeneration and employment, he does not consider that the benefits outweigh the development plan conflict and the conflict with national policy.”
Newcastle Borough Council leader Simon Tagg said: “I’m delighted with the decision, which is a victory for common sense. Our major concern was that a development of the size and scale would seriously damage businesses just a short distance away in Newcastle town centre.”
14 October 2010