Tesco plans for Welwyn Garden City refused

22:15 11 January 2012

proposed Tesco site

proposed Tesco site

Archant

TESCO’S plans to redevelop the Broadwater Road site in Welwyn Garden City have tonight (Wednesday) been thrown out by councillors.

Welwyn Hatfield Council’s planning committee voted by 13 votes to 1 to back officers’ recommendations to refuse the proposal.

Only Cllr Irene Dean – wife of council leader John Dean – backed Tesco’s application, while Cllr Darren Bennett, who had declared an interest at the start of the meeting due to a relative’s employment status with the supermarket giant, abstained from voting.

The plans would have seen a Tesco store built on the land it owns in Broadwater Road.

Tesco had also promised to build a swimming pool, heritage centre, hotel, civic square and a residential development.

Tesco spokesman Michael Kissman told the committee the application represented the only chance for development of the site – and warned it could remain derelict for a long time if refused.

However, councillors listed a number of reasons for refusing the proposal, including the potential impact on both the town centre and rival supermarkets such as Morrisons, in Panshanger.

The inability of the traffic network to cope with such a development was another major sticking point that councillors could not see past.

Two more applications from Tesco – for the site’s listed silos and development of the railway bridge – were approved by the committee.

The meeting had been moved from the council chamber into the auditorium at Campus West, and was held in front of a packed audience – with reports of more than 100 residents left outside, unable to be accommodated in the 340-seat venue.

38 comments

  • I would be embarrassed and ashamed if I was part of the people on the west side letting fireworks off in celebration last night. The non redevelopment of that site is nothing to cheer about. It also goes to prove that it's mostly the rich people on the west who didn't want this - a bad winner is much worse than a sore loser, and celebrating like that has only inspired a lot more people to support the Tesco plans. I really hope Tesco re-submit with improved parking and traffic plans, which is pretty much what it boiled down to (the council said it can't interfere with competition complaints). I just hope that the land doesn't remain derelict, doesn't go to industry and doesn't go all residential - having a tesco of any size is better for everyone than those outcomes.

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    dunnerz

    Thursday, January 12, 2012

  • Was it 80 jobs at Tesco? Anyone would think this was about opening a factory that employed thousands of people. No, it was about a SUPERMARKET (one of many - yet people moan about too many coffee shops, opticians and shoe shops) that would employ relatively few, in unskilled jobs (shelf stacking for the main, and overseeing self-checkouts for the remainder, with maybe some actual manned tills, for now). Nobody is happy that a supermarket can buy land that doesn't have planning for a supermarket, then hold councils to ransom by threatening to leave it derelict unless they get planning. Land banking, at least when there's no consent to build what Tesco and others want to build on the land they've acquired, should be made illegal. It's hardly much different to travellers buying land and then building homes before seeking consent - but they get moved on. The bigger companies just sit it out and eventually win.

    Report this comment

    jonmorris

    Thursday, January 12, 2012

  • Has anyone actually ascertained that the fireworks were anything to do with the meeting last night or is that just idle gossip - As for "lower class" having to shop in Stevenage what shops are there that should be in WGC and if you can't afford to food shop and Morrisons, Sainsburys, Waitrose, Co-op, Lidl, Iceland (all WGC supermarkets) there is Tesco's at Oldings - what other cheap supermarket are we lacking for

    Report this comment

    WGCRV

    Thursday, January 12, 2012

  • There appears to be a lot of reverse snobbery on this site my house is not worth £365k and I don't even own a car let alone drive a 4x4

    Report this comment

    WGCRV

    Thursday, January 12, 2012

  • @jonmorris it was about 300, but the WGC Soc said that if it's not full time work, it doesn't count, so divided all the part time jobs into 80 full time positions. It's a shame, because it's part time jobs that people really need - to be able to work whilst studying, or looking after children, or looking for a better long term career prospect somewhere else. Regardless 80 jobs is better than zero. Not to mention jobs included in the leisure facilities, and the jobs made during construction. In fact, even the short term boost for the extra jobs during the construction faze is very welcome in a time when the economy is suffering. Of course, the majority of the west side in the 356k on average houses, probably don't care for this hard truth. They prefer (in the worlds of the WGC soc lady on the stand in the howard) to turn it into grass land which means no jobs.

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    dunnerz

    Thursday, January 12, 2012

  • you know what the Upper class of WGC will run this town into the ground. LETS ALL PETITION THE NEXT coffee shop or hairdressers we have enough of them.

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    donna

    Thursday, January 12, 2012

  • Donna what shops haven't we got in the town centre that you think we should have - have you thought about writing to them and suggesting they open a branch? David thanks for clearing up the issue of the "celebratory" fireworks

    Report this comment

    WGCRV

    Thursday, January 12, 2012

  • Shame the aging wgc soc won't be around to see the town center fade away into empty shops and mass unemployment. From the reports and looking at social networking tonight, the anti Tesco is a loud minority (well at least not a majority). Hopefully Tesco won't be put off, or another investor (cinema maybe) will come along and will succeed. I believe that Tesco could take this application higher that town council though?

    Report this comment

    dunnerz

    Wednesday, January 11, 2012

  • @WGCRV sorry for the generalisation, but this paper printed the article about house prices, and being an active house hunter (or go look on right move) I can tell you that house prices on the west side of town are significantly larger than on the east.

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    dunnerz

    Thursday, January 12, 2012

  • Donna you seem to be missing the point as if the planning application had been agreed all we would likely to end up with is SUPERMARETS, coffee shops and charity shops.

    Report this comment

    RichGC

    Thursday, January 12, 2012

  • @donna 'I have to go to stevenage to do a decent shop' If you don't even use the existing Tesco at Hatfield, why would you want to inflict another Tesco on WGC residents when you yourself don't even use their Hatfield store ? I have friends who already refuse to go to the Hatfield store because parking is 'a nightmare'. We'd have got traffic problems all along Broadwater Road, probably causing knock-on effects back down Stanborough Road too. If you have access to online shopping, what are you on about ? You can get deliveries despatched from from Tesco's stores in either Hatfield or Stevenage. You don't NEED either of those retailers to have a store that's physically located in WGC. But one day, you'll be elderly, and perhaps unable to drive. When you need to pop down the local shops for a pint of milk, you'll perhaps only then realise that the defeat of Tesco's proposals back in 2012 ensured the survival of the very LOCAL shops that would have been economically unviable for their owners and long since closed down, had Tesco got their way in WGC.

    Report this comment

    Supermeerkat

    Thursday, January 12, 2012

  • They should turn it into an off road driving facility, at least then the people protesting would finally have somewhere viable to drive their 4x4's.

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    Beardo

    Thursday, January 12, 2012

  • WGCRV...will you be up in arms when the travellers take over the land. Beardo i am totally with you...how many shops are there on broadwater roadi counted 4 the other day. I still think its a case of the upper and lower class. Yes the upper class can afford to shop in town centre, but myself being of the lower class, I have to go to stevenage to do a descent shop or order online for a food shop which I can afford. And one other point..have you looked at employement agencies recently 20+ people applying for one job, what prospects do I have when I finish my degree this year? I know Tesco's might not have been a step in the right direction, but it would have been a JOB, instead of relying on the state.

    Report this comment

    donna

    Thursday, January 12, 2012

  • Jonmorris is so right. If we end up with derelict site for years the only place to point the finger is Tesco's. They have done exactly the same in St Albans. It would be good if Grant Schapps could raise the issue with government and that legislation could be brought against this practice.

    Report this comment

    RichGC

    Thursday, January 12, 2012

  • What this town needs is more supermarkets. I look forward to Asda's plans to fill in Stanborough lakes and build there, Sainsbury's new store on the Campus and Tesco Flagship store opening by the fountain. Well done to the people who took on The Man and won!

    Report this comment

    gritts

    Friday, January 13, 2012

  • I can't believe that someone has said that Sainsburys is more expensive than Tesco! Not in my experience! And as for needing a Tesco store, well do we need it? I have been in the new Sainsburys many times since it opened and as yet have not seen it look particularly busy. I also heard that they are also looking into closing at 9pm rather than 11pm as it is much quieter at those times than was originally anticipated. Broadwater Road looks as it is because existing buildings were demolished before any plans had been formally agreed. And I stand to be corrected, but wasn't the old Polycell warehouse (Welwyn film Studios) a listed building? Actually, it appears that a lot of local historic buildings seem to have 'been got rid of' in recent years! I may be sad but I still miss seeing the old Roche chimney that I grew up living a stone's throw away from.

    Report this comment

    RedAir1980

    Sunday, January 15, 2012

  • Well what a suprise.......looks like the upper class of WGC have won again. Why cant they think about those who need jobs, and the kids that have no future prospects of staying iin WGC. This has turned in to another HATFIELD. Charity shops and coffee shops.

    Report this comment

    donna

    Thursday, January 12, 2012

  • And there is a Coop store at Woodhall Parade half a mile away, which could, with other shops on the Parade, have had to close if Tesco opened on Broadwater Road.

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    David

    Thursday, January 12, 2012

  • @David - so not true about woodhall shops - I'll explain - if you shop there, you do because it's close (you walk), or you like the products. From a walking perspective, it's only 500m more to waitrose sainsbury in town from the entrance of the tesco (about 3mins walk), so for all but a very small minority, woodhall shops are closer. If you drive, same principle about distance already applies, but in addition, you are already choosing not to drive to Tesco (or the opposite), so all that will change is that drivers who go to oldings will now shop in the town centre. The only trade it will effect is people who have to walk out of their way on the way home from the station to go to sainsburywaitrose, now have something on their way home.

    Report this comment

    dunnerz

    Thursday, January 12, 2012

  • What next ????

    Report this comment

    Sparkyboy56

    Sunday, January 15, 2012

  • Donna there is a Tesco at Oldings if you need a Tesco and if Sainsburys is percieved by you as too expensive what about Morrisons or Lidl are they "cheap" enough

    Report this comment

    WGCRV

    Thursday, January 12, 2012

  • Are you serious? Better shops than Stevenage? Maybe if your addicted to Coffee and have 7 heads that you like to get cut at different shops! The town is stagnant, no Retail on Broadwater? There's a running shop, tile Shop and Car lot on Broadwater, They would benefit with the extra foot traffic.

    Report this comment

    Beardo

    Thursday, January 12, 2012

  • The fireworks last night were at Brocket Hall and part of Film Crew Production Event for a TV Company.

    Report this comment

    David

    Thursday, January 12, 2012

  • How is the town dying the two shops that have closed have quickly found replacements, we have better shops than Hatfield and Stevenage - yes the site needs development but not retail but Housing & Leisure - Tesco can always sell the site to someone else

    Report this comment

    WGCRV

    Thursday, January 12, 2012

  • The CO-OP at Woodhall is a joke, over priced and under stocked. Some competition might make it step-up. What i dont get is do people honestly think that it would have that much of a negative affect on other shops, if people want to shop at tesco's they'll shop there. And they'll already be going to the one in Hatfield, it's just more convienient for the WGC people that already shop at tesco's.

    Report this comment

    Beardo

    Thursday, January 12, 2012

  • RICHGC you must live in a dream world if you think Tesco are going to do anything but sit on that land. Why would they sell it? it does not matter to them if the whole area becomes a derelict dump, in fact it will help them beacuse the land will always go up in value and in 10 yrs time when Welwyn has gone right down hill the council will beg Tesco's to come in and regenerate the area. Well done council you have most certainly fixed WGC's desitny to be another Hafield except 1 thing you can't blame anybody but yourselves...

    Report this comment

    jackhaigh99

    Thursday, January 12, 2012

  • @David i saw the breakdown of the petition, 64% were not from the east side. It's not a great day for anyone in the town - it might be a step in the right direction for some people, but it's a step backwards in the progression of that site and that is nothing, 100% nothing to celebrate about.

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    dunnerz

    Thursday, January 12, 2012

  • Great news for those that like to look at derelict sites for years. It's good that WHDC stuck to their rules of no retail on broadwater, but it will be to the detriment of the look of the town on that site now, it'll be left to rot.

    Report this comment

    FirstBaseman

    Wednesday, January 11, 2012

  • YESSS ! This is the best decision by the WGC council. I am glad to see they have listened to the recommendations in the officer's report and to the residents. After all, the council are elected by the residents and hence should listen to their voices. I am not against Tesco, I do my weekly grocery shopping at Tesco in Hatfield but the thought of yet another superstore in WGC makes no sense whatsoever. The site does need to be developed and should not remain derelict. The council should decide to make the best use of the area for the community of WGC.

    Report this comment

    fuza5175

    Sunday, January 15, 2012

  • Fantastic news for the future of WGC. Only if Tesco hang onto the land will it be derelict for years so hopefully they will realise the strength of feeling from residents against the proposals and understand why it has been turned down and do the honourable thing and sell the land to a developer who will give the town what it needs which I hope the supporters of the development can accept we do not need another supermarket in WelwynHatfield.

    Report this comment

    RichGC

    Wednesday, January 11, 2012

  • Great news for all the people of WGC. It was a great day for democracy and since of the 14,000 say no to tesco petition signatures, over half came from the East side AL7, it shows that the typecasting of opposition as merely 'upper class West side is very wide of the mark.

    Report this comment

    David

    Thursday, January 12, 2012

  • Why has this developed into a discussion on income and where you live in the town. The decision will in the long run be beneficial to the whole of Welwyn Hatfield and the surrounding areas. Opposition to this plan came from all over WGC and surrounding areas. Common sense has won the argument to which in time even those that were pro for the plan will come to realise I hope.

    Report this comment

    RichGC

    Thursday, January 12, 2012

  • In the end Tesco will win, and hopefully there will be enough of us who will stand against the so called Upper class of WGC, who have the big pensions, or who have tennis courts in there back gardens for their kids to play on. Not only was there going to be a store but also a swimming pool which they would have funded and a new YMCA centre. I can see WGC centre turning into another Hatfield left to rot, as no one has the courage to progress with times,

    Report this comment

    donna

    Sunday, January 15, 2012

  • I 100% take back my comments about the fireworks - I was fed false info.

    Report this comment

    dunnerz

    Thursday, January 12, 2012

  • OMG you said it in one......sainsburys Cheap hahahahaha. so whats wrong with a cheap Tesco..

    Report this comment

    donna

    Thursday, January 12, 2012

  • Oh was that the upper class celebrating, glad they have money to waste.......perhaps they should buy the land, and supply half of WGC with jobs

    Report this comment

    donna

    Thursday, January 12, 2012

  • I fear Tesco will play the waiting game, as it knows that keeping the site looking horrible will (and did) make people appear to accept anything, even if it was to the detriment of the area (and anyone who read though the hundreds of pages made available on here will have seen that far from it being the fogeys on the west side, it was likely going to be people on the east side that suffered most. Anyway, I think Tesco put in for as much as they could and now it has been refused, can go away and see all of the points made for refusal and come back with a tweaked one that it should be impossible to refuse. I suspect Tesco will win in the end.

    Report this comment

    jonmorris

    Wednesday, January 11, 2012

  • TESCO... Hurry up and get an acceptable plan!

    Report this comment

    commonsense

    Thursday, January 12, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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