Azara Blog: Tesco loses latest planning application for Mill Road store

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Date published: 2008/08/02

The Cambridge News says:

Tesco has vowed to continue the fight to open a store in Mill Road, Cambridge - despite the latest setback in the planning process.
...
The supermarket giant was rebuffed by councillors on Thursday night when the East Area Committee rejected its application for planning permission for three air conditioning units and a refrigeration unit.
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But Tesco had previously gained permission for signs and a cash machine and the site is designated as Class A1 land use, for a shop.
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Planning officers had recommended approval for the air conditioning units and a refrigeration unit. Only two councillors voted against the application - three were absent, three decided not to take part in the decision-making and four abstained.

The votes of Cllr Catherine Smart, Lib Dem, and the Green Party's Cllr Margaret Wright proved decisive.

How bizarre is this? Ten politicians refused to vote, presumably because they knew there was no reason to refuse the planning application except for academic middle class prejudice against Tesco. Of course the Lib Dems and Greens represent the academic middle class, so the fact that two of them decided to vote against this latest planning application is not that surprising. It is the non-voting of the others that is surprising. If this planning application was crucial for Tesco (and it might well not be) then hopefully they will appeal, because it is hard to believe the city has a leg to stand on with this decision, given the way in which it was taken.

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