Presentation on theme: "Www.wgcsoc.org.uk1 Tesco Broadwater. www.wgcsoc.org.uk2 Tonight’s meeting ► Chairman: Terry Mitchinson Editor Welwyn Hatfield Times ► Presenters: Shaun."— Presentation transcript:
Tonight’s meeting ► Chairman: Terry Mitchinson Editor Welwyn Hatfield Times ► Presenters: Shaun O’Reilly, Malcolm Day and Will Davis for the Welwyn Garden City Society
Tesco current application Application submitted 04/10/10 Period for objection ends 03/11/10
Current position of WGC Society An initial analysis
Overview: in whose interest? ► Is this proposal driven by the economic interest of a supermarket… ► Or the public interest of our town? ► Any agreed development plan should strike the right balance between these factors.
Our approach ► We look at Tesco’s stated opportunities ► We look at Tesco’s stated objectives ► We touch upon a few facts ► We make some comparisons …and we draw some conclusions.
Tesco’s stated opportunities ► New development can link the two sides of the town together ► Railway bridge can provide new links and connections across town ► “Through the integration of the redevelopment, a new centre will be established to benefit the town as a whole”
The irritators ► Hatifield, Bassemer Road, Park Way, Louis de Soissions; where is Debenhams; Morrisons is in WGC not Hatfield, etc, etc ► “a considerable amount of interest in a doctor’s surgery connected to the town centre” ► Extra care home
Tesco’s stated objectives ► Overall aim of “proposed retail is intended to enhance the attractiveness of WGC as a retail destination” ► Securing the listed buildings ► Better linkage to Peartree ward ► New homes and new leisure facilities ► All within the WGC ethos
Tesco’s stated conclusions ► It will have no adverse effect on town ► It will enhance the town centre ► It follows the WGC ethos
Some facts ► Tesco store 4,646 m² (gross 8,027m²) ► Town’s need for another supermarket not proved ► Apparent local dominance issue not addressed ► Most customers will come by car ► Footbridge length reduced by 30% ► Still half a mile walk from Tesco to John Lewis ► Town centre retail space increased by 6.4%
Benefits of edge of town supermarkets ► University of Southampton paper says that edge of town supermarkets enhance the attractiveness of town centres as a retail destination ► Not with a mainline railway between and a inadequate bridge ► The site will remain an island unless it is properly linked
Challenge to the Council ► Everyone was consulted over the plan ► Input was invited ► Plan now challenged as “unviable” ► Viability not raised before ► Plan suggests an expensive legal challenge ► Financial justification made is incomplete
Community involvement ► Tesco stated its commitment towards consultation and engagement ► The current application bears little resemblance to the original outline ► The original and only consultation was on regeneration of the site ► Little notice has been taken of the original comments from the public ► No changes following Development Forum
Comparison with Sainsbury’s development ► WGC Society was involved ► Many exchanges of s ► Multiple meetings ► Most Society comments, including many involving complete redesign, successfully incorporated.
The goodies ► In the original outline plan the Shredded Wheat production hall contained a 50m swimming pool ► The production hall is now the supermarket and the pool has shrunk to a 25m leisure pool ► Heritage Museum ► YMCA building
Access to the site ► Access to the supermarket enabled by new road ► Footbridge over the railway is weakest link ► Footbridge is shorter but with a lift
The bridge: Tesco picture
The bridge: the reality
The planned link
Access (cont) ► The other access problem not addressed by the submission is the strip of land between the Tesco site and the railway ► There is right of access across the public recreation area to the old BRS site ► The current owners are not playing ball on this or the footbridge ► We think this is a show stopper
A flight of fancy
Design ► Silos beautifully exposed ► Office buildings well enhanced ► New buildings on site appear uncoordinated ► Dubious architectural linkage to the original ► Association with WGC ethos unconvincing ► Housing style – “moderne” rather than “neo-georgian” ► Density more ghetto than garden
WGC Style ► Trees and green space alone do not define what this town stands for ► Some vistas are poor ► Housing compared with Newham College, Cambridge, Holland Park Mews ► Where exactly is the WGC idiom?
Main points ► High quality submission ► Case not made for enhancement to town centre trading ► An island site cut off from the town centre ► Does not follow or develop the Garden City style ► Danger of a “Tesco town”
The way forward ► Pressure for rejection has to come on two fronts ► By everyone putting in their objection to the Planning Dept by 03 November ► By putting pressure on your local councillor. The application is expected to go to the January Planning Committee.
Line to take with councillors ► Technically the application should be thrown out ► Councillors are concerned over the possibility of a continued wasteland if they do not approve ► ….And getting the blame ► The land is valuable and will be developed at some time, either for housing or small scale industry, science park etc ► We must push councillors for the right decision
Meanwhile back in the Big Society ► Changes are coming for town planning ► Local communities are to have a bigger say in local planning decisions ► Our local MP Grant Shapps is Housing Minister ► Pressure needs to be applied to both the local MP and the Council Cabinet by us all
Response to this application ► Essential that everyone who wants to see the plans improved must send in an objection by 3 November ► Society will lodge a comprehensive response ► Numbers speak volumes to Planners ► Object by letter or online on Council website ► Sign our online petition
The decision is in your hands Act now to throw out this planning application