Merchant loses High Court battle over plans for new Tesco

Published:  04 March, 2012

SLEAFORD: A family-run builders' merchant, which has been based in Sleaford for almost 120 years, has lost a High Court battle challenging plans for a new Tesco superstore.

Turnbull & Co, which employs around 100 people, had sought to challenge the planning permission granted to Tesco Stores that includes a new link road, which Turnbull's says, will block off the main access to its head office and yard at Station Road.

However, Mr Justice Ouseley, sitting in London, refused it permission for a full judicial review hearing, ruling that it had no arguable challenge to the permission for the Tesco Extra store that forms a key part of Sleaford's regeneration.

The judge told the company that it should focus its attack on the separate planning application for the new link road, named the South East Sleaford Regeneration Route, which the council has resolved to grant, but not yet issued permission for.

After the decision a spokesman for the company said: "We are concerned at the Judgement and are giving the matter our consideration."

Turnbull's Station Road site has its main access from Southgate via a level crossing, with an alternative rear access not suitable for anything other than small vehicles.

However, the proposed link road will involve the level crossing being closed.

The company says that, white vans, trucks and articulated lorries - including its dedicated fleet and those operated by suppliers and vehicles - could access the site from the north and east, this would require them to pass through the congested town centre and navigate a difficult turn off Southgate.

As a result, it says that these alternatives are impracticable.

North Kesteven District Council resolved to grant planning permission for both the link road and the Tesco store in 2009, subject to the finalisation of conditions and planning agreements, but while permission was issued to Tesco on 16 March last year, the link road permission is yet to be issued.

Turnbull sought to challenge the Tesco decision, arguing that it was unlawful because it was granted based on a link road that will prevent it from using its main means of access.

It claimed that the decision was unreasonable, irrational and breached its human rights.

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