In 2007 residents and shop owners in Harrowgate Hill began campaigning against plans for a Tesco Express store to be opened. The campaigners went round door-to-door collecting signatures and encouraging people to write to the Council if they objected to the proposal for a Tesco Express. Thanks to these efforts, the council received 521 objection letters and a petition with over 900 names.
Planning officials put forward five reasons to refuse the application in December 2007, including:
- It would be contrary to planning guidelines about out of town shopping.
- Tesco had failed to demonstrate the need for the store.
- Tesco had also failed to show the store could not be built elsewhere.
- The plans would lead to a reduction in consumer choice because other shops may close.
- The store would generate extra traffic.
Residents objected to the store on the grounds that:
•The development would not be in accordance with the development plan and the store would be too big for an out of town development.
•There is no need for this development, as the area is extremely well served with local convenience shops.
•Traffic levels would significantly increase, particularly on North Rd., Bensham Rd. and the Tesco car park. The area has major problems at peak times and a mini-supermarket will only make it more dangerous and chaotic. Residents believe that the store would increase car use and that parking would overspill outside the car park.
•The proposed development is in a residential area, and too close to houses, so could have an overbearing impact on the residential amenity of these properties, thereby conflicting with local plan policies.
•Local residents' quality of my life would be affected by increased traffic, noise and pollution.