Thursday, 4 July 2013

Link Road Morrisons gets the go ahead

Cornwall Council's strategic planning committee today gave the go ahead for the new Morrisons supermarket on Launceston's Link Road. The committee also gave outline consent for a hotel, fast food restaurant, pub and 275 homes.

The vote was 20 in favour and just one against.

Both I and colleague Jade Farrington spoke to the committee. We both broadly supported the plans but had concerns about the loss of up to seven of the Millennium Avenue of oak trees. We both argued that an alternative entrance would have been better and we regretted that the developers had not been able to find one in order to preserve the oaks.

However, it is clear that the majority of people in Launceston support the scheme. The developers found 80% support and Jade found just over 70% support in her survey. At the same time, we found broad opposition to the idea of a supermarket on Race Hill car park with around two thirds opposed.

So the supermarket will go ahead and bring over two hundred new jobs to the town. It will also bring competition to Tesco and there will be mitigation measures in place to offset any damage to the town centre.

The rest of the scheme - the hotel, pub, housing etc - will need to come back for detailed planning permission. When it does I will be looking to see that the housing has not encroached onto employment space, that the much needed southern loop road is properly formed and that there are works to the South Petherwin Road to widen this and make it suitable for the extra traffic it will be asked to carry. 


DNP said...

And the mitigation measures are?

Alex Folkes said...

The specific measures in relation to the town centre are:

- A pot of at least £50,000 for schemes to cut parking charges in the town centre;

- A pot of £100,000 for schemes to attract visitors to the town. These might include contributions to the Loyalty Card, the Tourist Information Centre, Launceston in Bloom, late night shopping etc.

In addition, there will be a contribution of £310,000 to the town's transportation strategy which might include support for bus routes and cycle ways outside the scheme itself.

Finally, there are the 'automatic' things that come with any housing development such as affordable housing (mainly council housing) which will form at least 40% of the housing stock, contributions of over £2700 per open market dwelling with 2 or more bedrooms towards education, and play areas.