Yesterday I reblogged this Ipswich Spy Post
The Planning Inspector has written to Ipswich Borough Council informing them that the decision taken by the Planning Committee back in January must be overturned, and therefore Greene King have been awarded planning permission to make the necessary alterations to the Golden Key PH to turn it into a supermarket – and the Inspector has awarded costs against the council because the grounds used to turn down the permission were not supported by the evidence provided to the committee.
So it’s going to be a Supermarket anyway.
Labour councillors trotted out a tired allegation that the new supermarket would be a Tesco. It appears that Tesco’s now have such a poor reputation amongst the electorate that there is electoral support to be gained by appearing to be against one of Britain’s leading companies and largest employers. Despite being told by everyone from Paul Geater to Greene King to Tesco themselves that Tesco were not interested in the site, the Labour leader of the council allowed himself to be photographed (above) holding a sign that protested just such a store.
That his partner apparently was unaware of his views, despite him being photographed in this way and a number of newspaper articles about it, that stretches the credulity of the most gullible of reporters. But even if we give Carole Jones the benefit of the doubt on pre-determination, she still failed to declare an interest as a member of the Co-operative Party, despite the Co-op being one of the largest competitors to Tesco in the local area.
Also on my Reblog there was an excellent comment by Stephen
It must be so embarrassing for Labour councillors, as a group and some in particular, that their disingenuous campaign to prevent competition to the nearby Co-op and adjacent garage shop (managed by a Labour candidate) has rebounded on them. They had no evidence whatsoever connecting the application to Tesco but chose to attack them, as opposed to the principle of the application. They also failed to disclose the real reasons behind their campaign.
Still, now that they will have egg on their faces, they will probably find that eggs will cost less on the new site.
The reason it was refused was that
Ipswich Labour didn’t want a local party donor and a local Labour candidate losing business to a new supermarket and Ipswich Labour do not want to encourage any investment coming into Ipswich the Borough Council planning committee felt that the change of use to a supermarket would put too much strain on the highway. This, despite the fact that the County Council Highways Department didn’t object to the proposal because they didn’t feel the increase in traffic was enough to warrant a refusal of permission.
Ipswich Spy also said
Cllr Alasdair Ross expressed disappointment in the decision, hitting out at the fact the Inspectorate is based in Bristol. “The council listened to residents and refused permission, but I am afraid that in the end it is an inspector from Bristol who has the final say.” On that sentiment we couldn’t agree more. But if Ipswich Borough Council had been a little more careful in the reasons for their decision to refuse planning permission, using good sound planning reasons backed up by evidence, it wouldn’t matter if the Inspector was based in Bristol or Timbuktoo.