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Road scheme for new Sainsbury's in Bishop's Waltham hold up plans
11:04am Wednesday 3rd October 2012 in News
CONTROVERSIAL plans for a Sainsbury’s in Bishop’s Waltham remain on hold following a public inquiry yesterday.
The purpose of the inquiry was to establish whether a ‘stopping up order’ – the process by which a council may close a road for redevelopment purposes –was necessary.
Sainsburys want to close a section of Station Road but after an objection from a lone resident, the project came to a halt.
The objector, John Hayter, who spoke at length during the inquiry on was unhappy about things such as the potential loss of long-stay parking.
Acting on behalf of Sainsbury’s, barrister Nathalie Lieven said loss of parking was minimal.
But Mr Hayter repeatedly questioned the traffic surveys on which previous planning decisions had been based.
He was reminded by planning inspector John Wilde that the inquiry was solely focused on the stopping up order.
He told Mr Hayter: “Planning permission exists. Nothing we can do here today will affect that and we are not here to look at the evidence that the planning permission is based on.”
Mr Hayter insisted his evidence was relevant, saying: “What we see in this is a whole series of mistakes. Mayer Brown (transport planning consultants working on behalf of Sainsbury’s) made nine applications to the department of transport before they got this right.”
Former parish councilor Dorothy Quiney was at the inquiry in support of the plans, as was resident Peter Watson.
City councillor Colin Chamberlain, and Roland Palmer of Bishop’s Waltham Parish Fishing Club, were there as objectors to the plans.
The inquiry comes in the wake of the Bishop’s Waltham Society attacking plans for the store, claiming it would harm the appearance and character of the town.
A petition by the Bishop’s Waltham Action Group attracted more than 2,500 signatures against it.
Mr Wilde will submit his findings to the department for communities and local government, with the outcome not expected for some weeks.
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