Planners put crucial Tesco decision on ice for one month

An artist's impression of how a new Tesco in Belper might look
An artist's impression of how a new Tesco in Belper might look

A controversial planning decision which will govern any development by Tesco in Belper has been put on ice until mid-December.

Planners at Amber Valley Borough Council had hoped the final draft of the Development Brief for land between the A6 and the River Derwent, which includes land proposed for development by supermarket chain Tesco would be discussed at a meeting in November.

However, they now feel that deadline is unrealistic and are now working towards bringing it before the planning board on December 17.

The document is the culmination of more than four years’ work by the council and once approved will act an extra layer of planning law which Tesco will have to address before constructing any supermarket in the town.

Amber Valley Community Planning Manager, Rob Thorley, said: “We are still preparing the document and are working on it with our consultants.

“We were aiming for November but it is more likely to be December.

“We have had comprehensive responses from certain groups and those all need processing properly before the document can be considered.

“We don’t know when Tesco will be submitting an application.”

Around 20 people commented on the proposals via email, with about a dozen letters sent in.

Those responses along with a submission from Tesco are now being looked at and the plans are being fine tuned and amended as a result.

Tesco will have to abide by the planning document which could make it difficult for the chain store to build a 80,000 sq ft megastore, as was originally planned.

It is now likely to be New Year before Tesco can submit any planning application.

The Belper News exclusively revealed at the beginning of September that Tesco were still interested in building a store in the town, following speculation that they may have dropped the plans.

The news led to a flood of letters and emails from readers. Opinion is divided on whether the scheme is right for the town. Those opposed, 
cite the potential knock-on 
effects for the high street and traffic issues.

Others told the News the new store would add to choice for consumers and felt it would not hit trade in the town.