Tesco has applied four times to build a two- or three-storey Tesco Express on the site of the former Fox and Hounds pub, on Abingdon Road in Oxford. The application has been turned down three times by the Council and once at public inquiry by a Planning Inspector.
In December the Council deferred two planning applications. Tesco stated that "The legal position with regards to the proposals is that the building as it stands can be used for retail without the need for planning permission.” Councillors put back the applications to get more information from Oxfordshire County Council about the proposed store’s impact on traffic. City planners recommended that Councillors approve the application.
July 2010 - over 600 people signed a petition opposing the Tesco plans.
mid-August 2010 - both applications were turned down. Councillors on the central, south and west area committee had “called in” the application, but then decided to allow officers to decide the applications instead. Planning officers refused the plan because it failed to provide an efficient use of the land and would prejudice the development of the former filling station site; the 16 car parking spaces was twice the standard number set out in the Oxford Local Plan and considered “excessive” for a convenience store; and the application failed to provide any information on the design of the upper floor.
1st November 2010 - Tesco submitted a new planning application. In December the application was turned down again.
January 2011 - Tesco appealed to the Secretary of State against the Council's refusal of planning permission. An inquiry started at Oxford Town Hall on 8th June.