In December 2010 Tincknells and Sainsbury's jointly appealed the decision taken by Mendip District Council's planning committee in June 2010 to refuse planning permission for a store following a second application. The committee decided that the Waitrose site at Whiting Way was a better location for a supermarket and approved the application.
On 25th May Mendip District Council rejected Morrisons and Sainsbury's applications and also overturned a previous decision to grant Morrisons outline planning permission for a store and homes on the Parkwood Estate.
Sainsbury's and Morrisons appealed against Mendip District Council's refusal of their planning applications to build stores in the city. An inquiry was held in November 2011 but the inquiry took longer than the 10 days originally allocated and concluded on 20th January 2012.
In March the planing inspector gave the go-ahead for the new Morrisons supermarket. But the inspectorate refused Sainsbury's appeal to build on Glastonbury Road. Please see an article at BBC News, 9th March 2012.
Tesco already has a 35,000 sq. ft store in Wells and obtained Planning Permission to extend it by a further 15,000 sq.ft, but has chosen not to implement that permission. Residents in Wells believe this is because Tesco is trying to secure land for an even bigger store close to the City centre.
Campaigners believe the Council wants to sell its City centre car park and bus station to Tesco and wants everyone else with contiguous land to come on board. To this end, Mendip Council has signed and renewed for a further six months, a legally binding 'lock-out agreement' between itself, developers Centros-Miller and Tesco Stores.
Residents believe such a Tesco monopoly would not only cause ruination in the old High St., but since the development would occupy the only city centre site left for tourism and tourist parking it would undermine that aspect of the local economy as well. In fact, it will not be possible to meet the accepted standard of one car parking space for every 25 sq. metres of new retail floor space by a very wide margin - probably short by some 250 spaces.
Over 500 people attended the first public meeting organised by the Save Wells group on the 21st August 2007.