Big blow to Tesco over superstore ambitions

TESCO has suffered a major blow to its hopes of opening a superstore in south-east Sheffield.

It has failed to convince city planners that permission should be granted for land at Oxclose Farm, Halfway – near a Morrisons store.

The single sticking point, despite a wide range of issues being raised by objectors, is that the land is needed for housing.

Councillors will decide on Monday whether to accept their officers’ advice and reject an application for a superstore, petrol station and 500 parking spaces with a new link road off Oxclose Park Road.

They are under widespread pressure to resist the supermarket giant, having received a 885-name petition from a Mosborough-based ‘Stop Tesco’ group and 157 other letters of objection.

Protests have also been lodged by Hermes Real Estate, the owners of Crystal Peaks, which is worried about the effect on the Sainsbury’s at Crystal Peaks and the shopping centre as a whole, and by Sainsbury’s and Morrisons. Derbyshire County Council has objected.

Issues raised include warnings over exacerbating traffic congestion, an increase in traffic on the Deepwell estate, noise and pollution, the impact on shops in Crystal Peaks, Mosborough, Halfway, Beighton, Eckington and Killamarsh and the design of the development.

There is some support, though, primarily on the basis of shoppers’ extra choice and the jobs that would be created. Tesco has estimated 450.

Planners have examined every aspect, including the traffic and retail implications and whether there is a better, more sustainable, location and concluded that Tesco has passed every test except the one designed to ensure Sheffield has a five-year supply of land for housing.

At present much of the land is in the city centre or in parts of the north east of the city zoned for housing renewal, it is argued. Less than 8% of potential housing land is in the south east.

A council report says: “Whilst acknowledging that a number of new jobs will be created as a result of the proposed development, this part of Sheffield is not considered to be an area with high levels of environmental, economic or social deprivation, particularly in comparison with other parts for the city, to override the council’s view that the application site is required to meet the city’s housing requirement.”

lPlanning application: 10/02077/FUL

lProposed changes to the roads around the junction of the Wicker and Savile Street have been approved by councillors to pave the way for a Tesco Extra, the company’s largest format store.