Larger store blocked in conservation area

Tesco Stores Ltd has obtained detailed approval from the secretary of state for a food store on an edge-of-centre site in Carlisle but has failed to secure outline permission for a larger superstore on the same site.

The company sought detailed approval for a 3,715m2 store following a grant of outline planning permission. The inspector decided that its detailed design was acceptable and that there could be no policy objections to the development because the outline planning permission remained extant. However, he reached different conclusions on the company's outline proposal for a 6,608m2 store.

The main parties had produced different estimates of the capacity for additional convenience goods floor space in the area. The council resisted the scheme on the basis that there was insufficient capacity for the larger shop in combination with a proposal for another food store on a sequentially preferable site. Tesco claimed that there was a quantitative need for two large food stores.

In estimating the sales area of the proposed store, the inspector decided that the floor space beyond the checkouts should be included when calculating likely turnover. He disagreed with the appellants' estimate of available expenditure to support out-of-centre local food shops. Overall, he decided that there was no quantitative need for two large food stores.

He noted that the council supported the creation of a district centre anchored by a new food store in a substantial housing development. This should take priority over the appeal proposal, he decided. In his view, granting planning permission for a larger store would undermine the sequential approach to site selection. The secretary of state agreed, concluding that the appellants had failed to consider the potential for disaggregating the store onto two smaller sites in the city centre.

DCS Number 100-050-609

Inspector Andrew Pykett; Inquiry.

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