Tesco's Appeal was heard at the recent Planning Inquiry held in Alton in mid-May.
The Alton Society maintained its strong opposition to the Mill Lane site on the
grounds of the likely adverse effect on the vitality of the town centre. We submitted
our case both in writing and by speaking at the Inquiry. Another Society member
spoke against, in his private capacity. EHDC also maintained its strong opposition
to the proposals. Sadly no-one else spoke up in opposition whereas one or two speakers
from Holybourne and the north west of the town spoke forcefully in favour. The town's
Chamber of Commerce and Industry chose to remain neutral and did not speak. The
Senior Inspector produced her Report commendably quickly. In it she acknowledged
the increased contribution of Tesco to the proposed bus service improvements and
to the infrastructure of the town but she also acknowledged the probable adverse
impact on the town centre. In the end she decided that even Waitrose and Aldi combined
would not give the viable alternative that is required to provide competition to
Sainsbury and the balance of her decision was to allow Tesco to go ahead. Her report
can be read in full by clicking this link to the Planning Inspectorate's website.
The Society will continue to monitor the successful completion of Tesco’s promised
£1 Million investment for the town.