Newport supermarket application set for withdrawal

A planning application to build a supermarket on land at Station Road in Newport is set to be withdrawn.

Newport supermarket application set for withdrawal

A report to Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet meeting on Thursday (16 Oct) says that the application by St. Modwen will be withdrawn, subject to councillors backing an agreement with the applicant.

St. Modwen had been seeking to develop the Council owned land for a Sainsbury’s supermarket.

The withdrawal of the application would mean that a public inquiry due to be held on this proposal in the New Year would not take place.

The move to withdraw the application comes after an application for an Aldi store on land known as the old “Focus Site” was approved following the earlier approval of the application for the Audley Avenue site.

It also follows an initial public inquiry in January 2013 after which the Government appointed planning inspector sadly died. This resulted in a very significant delay in the Station Road supermarket proposal being considered.

Under the proposed agreement, the Council would pursue a housing-led development proposal for the site with around 120 new homes.

This new application would be submitted and marketed by St. Modwen and technical work completed in preparation of the Sainsbury’s application will wherever possible be used for the new application, thereby keeping costs as low as possible.

The net cost of the withdrawal of Station Road supermarket proposal, already met by the Council, is a total of £465,000. A new application for the Station Road site, if approved, would create a multi million pound receipt for the Council.

Cllr Bill McClements, cabinet member for finance and enterprise, said: "This proposal reflects the changing national retail landscape, together with the implications of the approvals of the Audley Avenue and Aldi applications, the delay in the public inquiry, and the outcome of negotiations between the Council, St. Modwen and Sainsburys.

"Our responsibility as councillors is always to obtain the best value for our local tax payers from the sale of any Council asset. That was our approach to the sale of the Station Road site.

"This alternative proposal would now be the best sale value solution, generating a significant multi-million pound receipt, which would be used to help protect the provision of vital services such as care packages for our elderly residents.

"As well as giving some help with the budget pressures from the swingeing cuts in funding imposed on Councils by Central Government, this alternative proposal will also address some of the housing needs that have been identified and in line with the Government’s Planning Policy."