People power thwarts Tesco plans in Hornchurch

People power won out after councillors dismissed controversial plans for a Tesco store in Hornchurch.

At the regulatory services meeting on Thursday January 24, the committee voted 10/1 to refuse the application in Butts Green Road, despite an appeal being lodged against an earlier decision.

More than 300 letters of objection from residents had flooded council planners.

Cllr Ron Ower (Residents’ Association, Upminster) urged the committee to send a clear message to the owners of the supermarket and the planning inspector.

He said: “I think that as a council we should go back to the inspector and point out that it is in the wrong place.

“I regret that we didn’t push for a refusal the last time around because it would have told them exactly what our feelings were, it is just at the wrong place at the wrong time.”

The committee refused the application because they believed that it would be detrimental to the neighbouring properties, overbearing and had no provision for off street parking for customers and staff.

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The proposals were for a single storey rear extension to an existing vacant shop premises to increase the retail floor area for a Tesco Express store.

The decision followed a heated hour-long debate by councillors about the site.

Cllr Steven Kelly (Conservative, Emerson Park) said: “The people in the local area do not walk.

“This is suited for a far bigger site and a bigger location with wider roads and this ignoring of the needs of the local population is not acceptable.

“It is going to cause a lot of problems for the house next door.”

Cllr Barry Tebbutt (Conservative, Brooklands) also raised concerns about the impact on the other businesses in the area.

He said: “We will be affecting three businesses by accommodating Tesco and I would not like to see that we have caused three businesses nearby to disappear to keep one.”

The committee heard that the application was previously deferred at an earlier planning meeting and the applicant appealed against the non determination of the application.

The council were given until the end of January to submit their case in appeal.