Rejected Sainsbury’s plan for Louth could be revived

Sainsbury's opens its new store at Hardwick, King's Lynn.
Sainsbury's opens its new store at Hardwick, King's Lynn.

A controversial supermarket and housing bid for Louth could be revived after the applicant appealed to the Government over its rejection.

East Lindsey District Council in June threw out the application by Metaris Properties Ltd to build a Sainsbury’s Local supermarket, two smaller retail units and seven houses on derelict land off Newmarket.

Charles Walter, director at Metaris, said the store would be a ‘useful amenity’, boosting employment locally.

But councillors, so fearful of traffic problems, described it as a ’tragedy waiting to happen’ and were concerned for the wellbeing of other traders within the town centre; they voted 11 to two against the plans.

There were also fears that the adjacent Watts Lane, currently a private road, would not cope with the volume of traffic.

But this week Metaris confirmed to the Leader that they had applied to the Planning Inspectorate to have the development looked at again from a national level.

The land is currently used as a skate park by local youngsters, and was formerly Brown’s Garage for many years.

Patrick Purves, secretary of the local residents’ association said at the June meeting: “Population density and demand has been mis-stated as there are three convenience stores and a garage in easy walking distance.”

Louth Town Council had also lodged a rejection due to fears for nearby shops and the smaller retail units within the application being swallowed up into the larger supermarket.

The planning inspector could look more favourably on the application. Prime Minister David Cameron has been a champion of ‘building our way out of recession’ in recent months.

The recent retail survey carried out by Nathaniel Lichfield (see front and page three) found that Louth could theoretically sustain an ‘edge of town centre’ supermarket.

The national planning inspectors will look at the application and make a decision in the coming months.

Would you like the planning inspectors to overturn the earlier decision, or are you happy with the original verdict? Email sam.kinnaird@jpress.co.uk.