The former Chells Family Pub and Restaurant, at The Glebe, Chells, Stevenage, closed in April 2011. The owners (a private company) have leased the site, which is on the corner of Chells Way and Mobbsbury Way, to Tesco.
Liberal Democrat Robin Parker, who is the local borough councillor for Manor Ward and the local county councillor for Chells Division, became aware of these plans in April 2011. He and local borough councillor colleagues John Mead and Graham Snell believe strongly that local residents deserve, and need to be, made aware of these plans. For this reason, the proposal for a Tesco at The Glebe was mentioned in the area in Robin Parker’s local election campaign leaflets in April. Since then, the local press have also picked up the story.
Many local residents have contacted Robin to express opposition to the proposed Tesco store.
I have contacted Tesco to check the facts and Tesco plan a Tesco Express convenience store for the site.
They will soon submit a planning application for a new shop front and external alterations, air conditioning, refrigeration equipment and ATM cash mahine, as well as advertisement consent for signage. They plan to open longer on Sundays than alllowed for larger stores. Tesco say there will be between 3 and 5 deliveries a day. They plan to open by the end of 2011.
Robin Parker also checked the facts with Stevenage Borough Council, who confirmed that Tesco would not require planning permission to change the former pub into a shop, but that permissions would be needed as listed above for a new shop front etc. As of 27.5.2011, Stevenage Borough Council has received no applications for this site. If and when any application is received, it will be dealt with in the normal way by the council’s Planning and Development Committee and/or planning officials.
Explained Graham Snell, who is a member of the Planning and Development Committee at the council:
The borough council has no direct powers to prevent Tesco carrying out their plans,but the matters which do require planning or advertisement consent will be thoroughly discussed.
Residents need to understand that the council and councillors have to follow the planning regulations, because these are the law.
Graham added the council cannot just refuse permission simply because some local residents do not want a Tesco there.
Councillor John Mead said:
It is likely that there will be differing views amongst local residents, and so local Liberal Democrats have decided to set up two petitions, one opposed to Tesco at The Glebe and the other expressing support for Tesco at The Glebe.
“I hope that residents agree that we have done our best to keep residents informed, as I promised during the recent local elections, and taken all views into account” said Robin Parker.
We will publicise and pass on to Tesco the results of these petitions.