Objectors refuse to check out of fight

OBJECTORS have vowed to keep on fighting after plans to build a supermarket within metres of their homes were approved.

Northumberland County Council’s Area Planning Committee North unanimously approved a reserved matters application for a 30,000 sq ft Tesco ‘eco-store’ on land adjacent to the Braid and north of Queen Street in Amble at Northumberland County Council’s Area Planning Committee North last week.

The store includes a 204-space car park as well as pedestrian access and a new access road to the supermarket from the A1068.

It will also provide 150 full and part time jobs for the people of Amble and the surrounding area.

But residents at Rivergreen and North View raised grave concerns about the application and its size and are continuing their calls to for a public inquiry into the way the planning application has been dealt with.

At the meeting North View resident Linda Jenkinson said: “I feel that the appearance of the supermarket will have a negative impact on the surrounding residential area.

“For the residents of North View it will be like living in Tesco’s car park.

“The noise pollution and disturbance will surely interfere with residents’ privacy under the Human Rights Act. A full investigation and inquiry should be carried out.”

The effect of the store on existing businesses in the town was also raised as well as concerns about traffic on the new junction.

Amble councillor Robert Arckless said: “One of the problems has been that for a long time the supermarket choice in Amble has been very limited.

“Many years ago we had three Co-ops but the demise of the Co-operative department store had a dire effect on Queen Street.

“There has been some progress and there are some good local businesses.

“The supermarket needs to be big enough to bring back a sizeable proportion of potential local trade that has been lost.

“This is a national supermarket chain and I think the proposal is reasonable. I have looked very carefully at all the plans in this case.”

But after the meeting, objector Roger Armsden said: “We certainly haven’t given up the fight on this. There are a number of things cooking at the moment and in light of the Freedom of Information request which showed how much was paid for the land, we are still calling for a public inquiry.

“The more we look at it the more we find good grounds for it.

“We are pressing ahead with more Freedom of Information requests as we feel that was just the tip of the iceberg.”

Numerous conditions have been applied to the application including advertising local businesses in the foyer of the new store to entice customers into visiting the town.