CTP and CABE row over Tesco plans

Manchester-based developer CTP has reacted angrily to objections from CABE to its Tesco superstore proposal in Hattersley, Tameside.

A planning application for the 90,000 sq ft store is currently awaiting a decision by Tameside Council. CTP and Faulkner Browns Architects won a national competition run by Tameside Council to develop the site and the brief was set by the council.

CABE (the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment) was not a statutory consultee but asked to be consulted as it often does on large supermarkets.

The new supermarket is "inappropriately" big, CABE said, and the "proposal seems to have prioritised the supermarket above anything else."

John Kemp, assistant architect at Faulkner Browns, based in Newcastle, said in his written response to CABE's design review that the "Supplementary Guidance and Planning Brief for this site make it clear that the supermarket was to be more than local in scale…From the outset it was recognised that a large store employing 450 people would be the largest employer in Hattersley and would train and employ long term unemployed [people]."

CABE went on to object to the layout of the supermarket saying the car park and petrol station should be put to the back of the store to create a better link between the town centre and the Tesco site.

Keith McCormack, director of CTP, added that it would be an extraordinary move for Tesco to expect customers to park next to the service yard at the rear.

McCormack continued: "The whole design review was a routine objection by CABE to large supermarkets but this is a regeneration project that will create the biggest employer Hattersley has ever had. It is also far more than a standard design, there is a lot more glazing, the building is two storey, as is the car parking and we have followed the design brief set out by the planners and responded to public consultation throughout the process."

CABE also objected to the public transport links in the proposal, stating that "pedestrians and cyclists have been overlooked in favour of those with a car" and the pedestrian access is via "convoluted steps, ramps, narrow walkways".

Architect John Kemp responded that new pedestrian routes and cycle lanes had been created on Ashworth Lane and Stockport Road according to the specific guidance of the highways and planning authority.

CABE concluded that the "we find very little to support within this application and therefore, as the application currently stands, we suggest that it is not given planning permission."

No date has yet been set for Tameside Council's planning committee to discuss the application.

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Who on earth is responsible for these development briefs? You see the same approach time and again, whether its Beswick, Cheetham Hill, Gorton, Hulme, Openshaw or Pendleton. It seems to be the standard approach to inner city regeneration – dump an oversize supermarket on a once distinctive and vital neighbourhood. Short term, cheap and easy for sure, but to attract people with a range of incomes to locate and stay in these neighbourhoods for the long term, you need to invest a bit more time and money to produce something with a bit of quality; mixed use, high quality public realm and a wide range of high quality shops and amenities. Supermarket led regeneration of the sort we have seen too often is just lazy and contemptuous and just storing up problems for the future.

By A_noun

Surely the existing retail outlets in Hattersley are, combined, the current largest employer? How will the town deal with the swathes of boarded up local shops in a few years time?

By K Cunningham

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