Colchester: Supermarket giant Tesco set to get permission for new store in Butt Road
SUPERMARKET giant Tesco is set to get permission for a new store in Colchester - despite ongoing concerns over traffic.
Objectors to the scheme in Butt Road - which includes plans for a supermarket, six small retail units and 14 houses - claim it will lead to traffic problems.
There is concern about the impact of the development on the junction of Butt, Layer and Drury roads and residential streets such as Constantine Road.
There have also been objections to the size of the supermarket. The initial masterplan for the area, approved by Colchester Borough Council (CBC), said the store would cover 1,000sqm, which is smaller than the 1,328sqm shop proposed by Tesco.
Councillor Pauline Hazell, who represents the Shrub End ward on CBC, said: “It’s been changed from a local supermarket to a destination site and people feel the amount of traffic will be particularly dangerous because of the number of vehicles that will have to service the site.”
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Colchester MP Sir Bob Russell said: “There is already traffic congestion on Butt Road, which could be affected by the planned changes to the High Street and the knock-on effect this will have on displaced vehicles.
“Additional traffic associated with this proposal will result in a significant impact on the immediate area, which includes the garrison, police station and doctors’ surgeries.
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“The proposal should be refused as it far exceeds the original proposal and the applicant should revert to the food store size previously proposed.”
The application was due to be voted on in June. But councillors deferred the decision and asked for further assessment of road capacity and safety.
Colchester Borough Council appointed Ardent Consulting Engineering to audit work initially carried out about transport issues around the site.
Ardent concluded the original work had “derived a robust estimate of the predicted traffic associated with the proposed Tesco food store”.
The report that will go before members of CBC’s planning committee on Thursday evening recommends the scheme should be approved.
It concludes: “It is appreciated the traffic imnplications of this proposal are contentious for many residents. While the current proposal is likely to increase the flow of traffic on some of the roads between Butt Road and Maldon Road, this is considered unlikely to be detrimental to highway capacity and safety.”
A spokesman from Tesco earlier told the EADT: “The recommendation from the council’s planning officers is great news for all those local residents who have been telling us they want a place close to home to do their weekly food shopping.”