A CONTROVERSIAL bid by supermarket giant Tesco to build a new Basingstoke store is set to go before a Government planning inspector this month.
A public inquiry will be held at Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s Civic Offices from February 19 as the supermarket chain seeks to overturn a decision by the council’s development control committee to refuse a planning application for a new 63,000 sq ft store on the old Smiths Industries site, in The Harrow Way.
Members of the 15-strong development control committee turned down the application last July amid fears that it would harm the business of existing shops.
There were also concerns about £4.2million-worth of highway improvements to the Brighton Hill Roundabout that Tesco said it would fund.
Tesco had planned to fill in the underpasses, and replace them with six, overground pedestrian crossings and sets of traffic lights.
Under the road proposals, the A30 was also to be extended across the middle of the roundabout, while access to the proposed store would have been from The Harrow Way.
Since the application was lodged in January 2012, it has received a mixed reaction from residents.
A petition with up to 1,500 signatures objecting to the proposal was submitted. But Tesco say the plans, which would create 200 jobs, received “huge support from local residents and businesses” following a public consultation.
The public inquiry will start on February 19, and is scheduled to finish by February 28.