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1,356 people signed petition objecting to supermarket
PLANS to build a Tesco supermarket in the Brighton Hill area of Basingstoke have been recommended for approval by borough council officers.
A report for next Wednesday’s development control meeting recommends the application to build the 63,000 sq ft store on the former Smiths Industries site is approved, on condition that Tesco pays for important highway and infrastructure improvements.
The £4.2million investment includes putting signals on the Brighton Hill roundabout, with four lanes though the centre island to create a ‘through-about’ and widening of the carriageway. Tesco claim the ‘through-about’ will reduce waiting times from 90 seconds to half a minute during the morning peak time and from two minutes to 30 seconds in the evening rush hour. Signals would also be installed on part of the A30 Winchester Road roundabout, and the approach would be widened to three lanes.
The Harrow Way would also be upgraded with a financial contribution to investigate reducing the speed limit along this road to 30mph. Crossing points for pedestrians and cyclists and cycle lanes would be installed.
The borough council papers give various reasons for approving the plans, including that the development will not harm the “vitality and viability” of other shopping centres in the town, that it is an appropriate design with adequate vehicle and cycle parking, and that the various improvements to the highways will “mitigate the impact of the development in relation to transport and highway and pedestrian safety.”
The application has been extremely controversial, and the papers list objections from various councillors, including Brighton Hill North councillor Carolyn Wooldridge.
She raised concerns about the need for a Tesco store, saying it would have a negative impact on other nearby shops. Brighton Hill South councillor
David Eyre said the area was already well served by other supermarkets. Two petitions, totalling 1,356 names, were submitted against the plans, and another, with 726 names was in favour.
Simon Petar, corporate affairs manager for Tesco, said: “We are extremely pleased that Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council have recommended for approval of our scheme. “The new store will create around 300 jobs and provide investment in the local network.
“We will regenerate a derelict site and provide a highways solution which Brighton Hill residents have been calling for, for many years.”