Applications for alterations to a proposed Tesco store in Horsham were deferred by the council tonight (Tuesday June 4).
The supermarket giant is hoping to re-open the old Silver Wok site in Brighton Road as a Tesco Express store, but does not need planning permission for change of use.
Its applications for signage, a canopy, air conditioning units, minor external alterations, and widening of access to the site, were deferred by Horsham District Council’s Development Control North Committee.
Peter Burgess (Con, Holbrook West) said: “It’s quite obvious with this we have got ourselves in a mess here, and I think we should stop and we should defer everything. Go back and start again and look at Section Four.”
Liz Kitchen (Con, Rusper and Colgate), chairman of the committee, added: “I do not think we are in a position to take any decisions further.
“We have to be careful. We have to get this right.”
Godfrey Newman (LDem, Forest) said it was right to defer because of late information being presented by Tesco, and West Sussex County Council ‘not doing what they are supposed to do’.
Mr Newman argued that Article Four Direction, which can remove permitted development rights, should be looked at due to possible harm caused through vehicular access on to Brighton Road.
After refusing the first application for the ATM machine it was agreed to defer the other applications to gather more information. As Mrs Kitchen put it: “We are getting awfully muddled.”
After the meeting Simon Petar, corporate affairs manager for Tesco, said: “I hope the council bring it back to committee as soon as possible and they will recommend it for approval. There’s a lot of support for the site as well as the jobs it will bring, and I hope they bring it back to committee at the earliest opportunity.”
However residents around the site felt aggrieved at changes to the application announced at a public meeting held the night before (Monday June 3).
This included stopping vehicular access to the site from St Leonard’s Road.
During the meeting Christian Mitchell (Con, Holbrook West), drew members attention to the possibility of Waitrose moving from Piries Place in Horsham town centre to the Bishopric. He asked if HDC had held any meetings with Tesco to discuss moving into a possible vacant premises in a year or two.
Hilary Colpestone, senior planning manager, said: “I’m not aware of any discussions that have taken place.”