Store gives up planning fight

PUBLISHED: 16:56 10 April 2008 | UPDATED: 10:49 03 July 2010

Supermarket giant Asda has withdrawn an appeal over its twice-rejected plans to supersize its Great Yarmouth store and expand its non food and clothing range.

Supermarket giant Asda has withdrawn an appeal over its twice-rejected plans to supersize its Great Yarmouth store and expand its non food and clothing range.

The final decision over whether Asda could go ahead with its extension was due to be made by a government planning inspector on May 20.

But this week Planning Potential, agents for Asda, withdrew the appeal via email, delighting opponents worried about harm to town centre shops.

Members of Great Yarmouth Borough Council's development control committee twice stood firm against the scheme, despite the offer of a planning gain package totalling £50,000 aimed at improving Vauxhall bridge and links with the town centre.

This week Tom McGarry, property communications manager for Asda, said the company was “disappointed” the committee twice voted against the scheme which would have created 40 jobs.

He said: “We have withdrawn the planning appeal on the basis the committee met twice and dismissed it so we have decided that we will look to invest elsewhere.

“We will continue to make sure that the store in Great Yarmouth is providing fantastic service to our customers and we are disappointed that the committee voted against an application that would have created 40 jobs and would have improved pedestrian links to the town centre.”

Mr McGarry said Asda was no longer looking to put George shops in town centres but said it was always on the lookout for possible sites for their Asda Living stores.

He added that Asda bosses would reviewing the Yarmouth store “with fresh eyes”.

Town centre manager Jonathan Newman welcomed the move. He said: “They have probably come to the conclusion that they would not be allowed to expand at this time. Government legislation is not on their side.

“Whereas on previous occasions the planning legislation has not been quite so clear it is now very much encouraging town and city centre development first.

“It should be about attracting additional business that will encourage more people to visit the town to shop, rather than encouraging the same people to spend more money in one store.

“At some point the growth of Yarmouth will dictate there is an opportunity for expansion, but not at this time.”

He added that Tesco was able to add its mezzanine floor without planning permission, which under new legislation it would not be allowed to do, and that Asda could still go ahead with its plans to improve links and the bridge if it thought they would be beneficial.

Although Asda has withdrawn its appeal, planners will soon be asked to look at another application for a home shopping hub, to help its on-line shoppers.”

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