Tesco rejection blow for Cheddar Football Club
The out-of-the-blue rejection of a Tesco in Cheddar has led to a “major blow” to Cheddar AFC’s bid to move to a new site.
A Sedgemoor District Council planning officer turned down Tesco’s plans on Friday.
The decision did not need to go before the council’s development control committee as officer Colin Arnold’s view was the same as Cheddar Parish Council – rejection.
Steve Bayliss, chairman of Cheddar AFC said the Cheesemen were disappointed by the news as it jeopardised Tesco’s bid to buy their home ground, allowing them to move to Labourham Drove.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
He said: “This is a major blow for our plans as we know, without the capital being released for Bowden’s Park, it will be a major challenge to fund the new facilities that our club and our village need.
“We always said it was a case of when a supermarket came to Cheddar, not if, and this has been proved correct by Sedgemoor’s resolution to grant planning permission for a Sainsbury’s food store at Steart Farm.
“From our perspective, it is such a missed opportunity that Cheddar will get the supermarket that many seemingly didn’t want, but it seems it will not get the state-of-the-art new sports facilities that it could also have gained with our proposals.”
Mr Bayliss said the club remained committed to securing new sports facilities for Cheddar as “it is simply not sustainable for sport in Cheddar to continue without more pitches, artificial training pitches and better changing and coach education facilities”.
Cheddar AFC’s own plan to build a sports park with clubhouse, changing rooms and seven pitches, is still in the pipeline for Sedgemoor.
Cheddar Parish Council recommended rejection so whether the decision will go before Sedgemoor’s planning committee or lie with the planning officer depends on the latter’s stance.
Tesco was invited to comment but had not yet done so.
The Keep Cheddar Special group was delighted that Sedgemoor turned down the Tesco application.
Carol Wilkie of the group said: “The principal and premier reasons for refusal are clearly the concerns raised by the Environment Agency concerning flooding.
“The building of a supermarket on the Cheddar AFC site would be on grade 3B flood land and subsequent additional drainage would be a burden on existing river and channel networks.
“The group is fascinated to note, that the other reasons given by Sedgemoor for refusal of Tesco, could equally have been given for a refusal for the Sainsbury application.
“For reasons best known to Sedgemoor planning, they chose not to apply them to Sainsbury’s, only to Tesco.”
Those reasons included the cumulative affect on Cheddar’s village centre, the urbanising of Cheddar’s green edge and insufficient information that roads would not become overburdened.
Mrs Wilkie said: “Keep Cheddar Special suspect that the massive financial power of Tesco will allow them to fight this refusal in the High Court, so the battle will continue.”
Sainsbury’s was given planning permission to build at Steart Farm last month, subject to a £350,000 package of mitigation measures like improved shop fronts and free parking in the village centre.
Cheddar Traders Association was going over those proposals on Tuesday night.
Mike Latham, vice-chairman of the group, said: “It seems Sedgemoor has seen some sense. Sainsbury’s is the lesser of two evils.
“At last I have some faith in the district planners.”