Tesco plan for Welwyn Garden City "fundamentally flawed"

PUBLISHED: 06:25 19 December 2011 | UPDATED: 14:32 20 December 2011

The former Shredded Wheat factory in WGC

The former Shredded Wheat factory in WGC

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TESCO bosses' plans to build a huge supermarket in WGC have been dealt a massive blow after a highways report revealed they are fundamentally flawed.

Hertfordshire Highways experts have urged Welwyn Hatfield Council to refuse planning permission for the Broadwater Road site, saying the supermarket’s scheme was unworkable.

And now campaigners have urged Tesco to throw in the towel.

The development would need major changes to Welwyn Hatfield’s road network to accommodate the predicted levels of traffic, and highways authority officers believe the supermarket chain’s designers have not done enough to solve the issues.

The report to Welwyn Hatfield Council’s planning committee states: “Although the highway authority considers some issues may be able to be resolved through discussion there are fundamental issues that account for it recommending the current scheme is refused.

“The proposed development requires major changes to the highway network adjacent to the site and wider mitigation to accommodate the predicted levels of traffic.

“Even with the road widening of Broadwater Road and changes to the Bridge Road/Broadwater Road junction the highway network can not accommodate the predicted levels of traffic by 2016 and makes no allowance for future development of the adjacent Pall Mall site.”

The report has delivered a potentially fatal blow to the multinational’s plans and has been welcomed by campaigners against the scheme, which would also see a swimming pool, hotel, plaza, housing and YMCA built.

Shaun O’Reilly, chairman of the WGC Society, said: “We are asking Tesco to withdraw their application.

“It simply doesn’t make sense now.”

Tesco spokesman John Timothy said: “Our proposed development at Broadwater Road will deliver a range of benefits including creating hundreds of new jobs.

“We’ve worked extensively to mitigate any concerns have been raised and we’re confident the overall impact of the scheme will be extremely positive for residents, businesses and the local economy.”

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