In June 2011 Surrey Heath Borough Council’s planning committee overturned the advice of town planners and unanimously rejected an application to redevelop Lightwater Homecare as supermarket on parking and traffic grounds. Developers wanted to demolish the DIY store on Guildford Road for a new building that would be used by an unidentified retailer.
Over 600 residents opposed the application.
The developers appealed but in January 2012 a planning inspector threw out the plans. The planning inspector also turned down the applicants' request to have the borough council pay some of their legal fees for the unsuccessful appeal.
In June getsurrey.co.uk reported that Tesco had applied in May for a certificate which would allow it to potentially open a new store immediately. If granted, the ‘certificate of lawfulness for a proposed use’ sought by Tesco would effectively be confirmation that it could open a store as soon as it was able to acquire the land, because the site would not be changed from its current use. The certificate was waved through in June despite 527 objections from local residents.