Tesco in Hertford originally proposed to demolish its existing store of about 24,000 sq ft and 283 car parking spaces, and replace it with a store roughly double size at 49,000 sq ft and 469 car parking spaces.
Residents felt that the impact of the store will do damage to the town on many different levels. Existing town centre shops will lose trade as Tesco introduces more non food items. Rather than encourage commercial diversity, one giant store will dominate the town. The existing traffic problems in the area are likely to be exacerbated by an increased number of cars visiting the increased number of parking spaces. The store sits within a conservation area, which will be dominated by both its presence and its architectural insensitivity.
A Hertford Residents Group was formed to vocalise local opinion and inform people how best to object to the proposal.
In April 2009 the Government called-in a decision to allow a new Sainsbury’s supermarket to be built in Hertford, and a public inquiry was held in September 2009. In January 2010 the Planning Inspector ruled that planning permission should be given subject to a section 106 agreement.