A controversial scheme for a new Tesco superstore on a greenfield site on the outskirts of Looe in Cornwall goes before the Strategic Planning Committee in Truro this Thursday 7 February with a recommendation for approval.
The residents of the historic fishing port of Looe on the south coast of Cornwall, are divided between those that want a supermarket on their doorstep at any cost, and those that think this particular scheme will ruin the long-term future health and prosperity of the town, if passed.
We, at the LooeStrategyGroup, are extremely worried by the prospect of a competing retail destination in a rural location on a green hillside one mile out of town, so have posted some revealing facts about the application on our website... looestrategygroup.blogspot.com
We are worried that, by siting the supermarket out of town, the commercial focus of Looe would be split in two opposing directions. One would have free parking and the other not... how many would then choose the centre when they could park freely up on the hill?
Planning policies stipulate against urban sprawl or out-of-town development and exist to protect and enhance the environment. They seek to rejuvenate our town centres and to restore their viability and vitality, and yet the Tesco application does just the opposite because the location is completely wrong.
We are not against a supermarket in Looe per se, but contend this proposal is premature because there is a viable and preferable brownfield site at Polean next to the main car park waiting to be developed.
Surveys show that the business community in Looe regard the alternative Polean option to be less damaging because it would retain shoppers in the centre of town. It could even compliment the town by encouraging linked trips to Looe's many other facilities.
Crucially another supermarket operator has prepared a bid for Polean which is going before Cornwall's Cabinet on 13th February, but this will be scuppered if Tesco gets approval first.
Because the outcome is so vital to the future well-being of Looe our council representatives are calling for Cornwall to either reject or hold back the Tesco application to allow the Polean proposal an airing and we totally support this suggestion.