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Heron Foods store planned for a Nottinghamshire Tesco car park refused

Concerns over safe access and low car parking space numbers led to councillors unanimously throwing out plans for a Heron Foods store in the car park of an existing Tesco.

Newark and Sherwood District Council’s planning committee refused plans for the store, near the Tesco Express on Kirklington Road, Rainworth.

It came four weeks after the same committee delayed making a decision on the plans over separate concerns about delivery vehicle access.

The Tesco store in Rainworth where the Heron Foods shop could be built 1 1

A meeting on Thursday (September 7) heard the store would have been built on brownfield land next to the existing Tesco car park.

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Fencing would have been removed and the two stores would have shared an existing, expanded car park.

However, councillors said the car parking facilities were not acceptable as the total number of bays provided only totalled 30.

The Tesco store in Rainworth where the Heron Foods shop could be built

This was a reduction from the 31 bays proposed at the previous meeting as part of the applicant’s plan to address previous delivery concerns.

But the meeting heard 30 bays for the two stores falls 18 bays below standard requirements for two shops – or 24 bays per retail unit.

Councillors feared this would not be enough to serve both shops, which would be based on an “already-congested” junction.

Other concerns were raised about the car park potentially becoming an “unsafe rat run” for both cars and pedestrians.

This, the meeting heard, was the result of a proposed new vehicle access point off Kirklington Road which would widen and utilise an existing pedestrian route.

A planning condition would have been placed on this entry point to restrict HGV entrance, with delivery vehicles only allowed to enter the site via a widened and improved existing Southwell Road entrance.

However, local councillors for the village spoke in the meeting to suggest this would become a route for motorists looking to avoid nearby traffic lights.

Another councillor said this would become a pedestrian rat run for secondary school pupils who could use it as a “short cut” when walking home.

The committee unanimously voted against planning officers’ recommendations to approve the plans before voting to throw them out.

In the meeting, Cllr Andy Freeman (Lab), the committee’s chairman, said: “If we’ve got 30 parking spaces for two units, that seems a pretty reasonable reason to refuse.

“The impact of that is on-street parking. The increase of on-street parking is a lack of safety on the highways and for pedestrians and young children, as well as increased near-misses.”

Cllr Claire Penny (Lab), who represents the Rainworth North and Rufford ward, also spoke in the meeting calling for a refusal.

She said: “This application would result in overwhelmingly negative consequences due to over-intensification in an already over-congested intersection.

“There’s no opportunity to relieve this congestion due to its layout, and the application would exacerbate day-to-day challenges faced by residents, pedestrians, shoppers and vehicles at this location.”

She raised concerns over the “rat run” as well as fears for children and young people trying to use nearby facilities.

These concerns were “echoed” by Cllr Tom Smith (Con), who represents Rainworth South and Blidworth.

He added: “People who live there are against it, Cllr Penny – who lives there and represents there – is against it, I – who lives and works there, am against it.

“This is cross-party. Local councillors object, the parish council objects to it, and local residents object to it.”

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