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18 March 2010, 13:05
A second Tesco store is going to be built in Barnstaple, after North Devon Council granted planning permission.
The supermarket will be built on the site of the current Brian Fords Discount Store, but will be bigger and include 497 parking spaces and a petrol station.
Plans for the store have caused controversy, with local traders saying it will ruin their trade and turn Barnstaple into a ghost town.
But Councillor Jasmine Chesters, Chair of Planning at North Devon Council, said: "The people who go into Barnstaple to shop every day will still do the same thing. They won't go to Tesco, they will still shop within the town centre."
She also said the council had no grounds to refuse the planning application, and would have had to go through a costly appeals procedure if they had.
In a statement, Tesco said, " Tesco welcomes North Devon District Council's decision to approve plans for a Tesco store on the Severn Brethren retail park.
"We are delighted the Council has decided to approve our application. The new store will regenerate this area Barnstaple offering additional new jobs for local people and more choice for local shoppers."
Tell us what you think - Are you worried about the impact it will have on your business? Or will the new store make things better for you? Add a comment below.
Philip Milton said: "Tesco owns the store. Many will appreciate shopping there. The Council decided whether Tesco's application is right. We must trust our elected Councillors.
Our MP suggests our Council is poor, suggesting bias. He says 'a quick sale would go some way towards reducing its growing debts and revenue shortfalls' and refers to 'higher car-parking charges' as if the Liberal Democrats didn't raise them. We have the lowest increases in Council Tax ever. Shouldn't our MP's shouting have happened in 2007 when the same LibDems approved a store only 15% smaller?
Our Council owns the adjoining recycling unit, which is relocating to the new facility. The Council nets £8million (an immensely bigger sum than the previous Council had asked) - very welcome indeed and the extra construction spend.
We need to be sensible and if right, consider what formal obligations could be invoked and what other positive things can be done for Barnstaple, like BIDs which has £700,000 to spend." (18/03/10)